History of Catalina Divers Supply
1957: Construction begins for Catalina Divers Supply, the first dive store located on Catalina Island!
1960: Carl & Maggi Koehler of Catalina Divers Supply begin operating the first ever island-based dive boat (later became a cover story for Skin Diver magazine).
1962: A section located along the Casino jetty is roped off by Carl Koehler of Catalina Divers Supply. The area is located on the outside harbor and is called the Avalon Underwater Park. CDS provides the line, weights, buoys, markers and labor.
1962: In celebration of the Avalon Underwater Park, Jacques Cousteau and Tommy Tompson, U.S. head of U.S. Divers, donate a portable recompression chamber to the City of Avalon. Catalina Divers Supply operates the unit under the supervision of Dr. Robert Staff. This chamber led to the establishment of the larger, more sophisticated chamber, which is now operated by USC and is located at Two Harbors on Catalina Island.
1965: The Avalon City Council approves the design of the dive park and designates the area to be set aside for sport diving. This becomes the first city-authorized, nonprofit underwater park in the United States (and maybe in the world!).
1965: A barge operated by Catalina Divers Supply is moored in the Avalon Underwater Park. Services performed aboard the barge included equipment sales and rentals, air fills and repairs.
1967: Catalina Divers Supply is featured on the cover of Skin Diver magazine. The first Scuba Cat dive boat is pictured with owners Carl & Maggi on board.
1977: Catalina Divers Supply celebrates its 20th anniversary by opening a shore-based operation at the Avalon Underwater Park. The "Air Van" continues to provide equipment sales and rentals, air fills and repairs to the present day.
1980: The Avalon Harbor Clean Up begins its first year! The effort is spearheaded by Avalon resident Dennis Reitinger with the help of local and mainland divers. Catalina Divers Supply begins a tradition of supplying participating divers with free air.
1982: Catalina Divers Supply opens a third location at the Lovers Cove Marine Preserve. Mask, Snorkel and fin rentals at Lovers Cove become a new focal point for CDS.
1985: John and Susan Mello enter as new owners of Catalina Divers Supply.
1986: Catalina Divers Supply begins operating 7 days a week year-round, one of the first attraction businesses in Avalon to do so.
1991: The charter vessel Cat Dive begins operation through Catalina Divers Supply.
1993: Catalina Divers Supply marks its 36th year as caretakers of the Avalon Underwater Park.
1997: This marks the 40th year Catalina Divers Supply has been located on the Pleasure Pier proudly serving the diving world.
1999: Catalina Divers Supply continues to make history and contributions to the scuba diving world. Our commitment to the diving community is evidenced in our efforts, in conjunction with the City of Avalon, to provide improvements to the Casino Point Underwater Park. Steps are completed to enhance safety while entering and exiting the water. Shower facilities and changing rooms are established on the road into town and restrooms are located on site.
2000: A new Scuba Cat is introduced in the summer to initiate the year-round operation of a dive boat by Catalina Divers Supply. Especially made for dive-style charters, the Scuba Cat delivers the smoothest ride around Catalina Island. The new vessel, with its 46-ft fiberglass hull, is a sleek, streamlined machine much improved from its namesake of the 1960s. Decked out for day and evening charters, the Scuba Cat is designed to treat its passengers to a luxurious ride while providing excellent facilities for scuba and snorkeling expeditions.
2001: The demolition of the original building on the Green Pleasure Pier takes place in late winter as the entire Pier is refurbished with new wooden planks and pylons are inspected. A new building for Catalina Divers Supply is built off site and crane-lifted from a flatbed onto the original location on the Pier.
2002: Easter brings the re-opening of the Pier location after a new building was placed on the original site. The new building is a larger, more modern version of the original shop and continues to be the best, most central location to rent or purchase scuba and snorkel equipment on Catalina Island.
2008: Catalina Divers Supply celebrates 50 years of business on Catalina Island. Our crew members look forward to many great years of diving to come.
2013: Under new ownership, Catalina Divers Supply continues to provide Catalina Island and its visitors with memorable dive and snorkel experiences and a renewed focus on customer service.