Egyptian Dive Club offers unique experiences

By Gus Bode

New activities starting with the Dive club

Factiod:For more information email Matt Taitt at [email protected]

Pete Carroll recalls being surrounded by a school of fish the first time he went scuba diving.


“A school of fish formed a bowl around me,” said Carroll, who is the adviser of the Egyptian Dive Club and head of the Physical Education Department. “They came up under and around me.”

This was one of Carroll’s first experiences when he began scuba diving in 1953.

Those who have never been diving before but would like to get involved can take a scuba diving class on campus. Pete Carroll helped get the class started when he was first hired to work in the Aquatics Department. It is a semester long and includes a typical classroom experience along with water training. The class is worth four credit hours and allows students to become certified scuba divers.

Carroll also founded the SIUC Dive Club in 1970. The club has been active for more than 20 years and currently has almost 60 members.

The team had its first meeting of the year last Wednesday in Pulliam Hall. They are conducted every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and usually last one hour. All of the meetings, which are open to students as well as the general public, consist of a two-hour dive practice preceded by a guest speaker.

The Egyptian Dive Club offers students and community members the opportunity to participate in many unique scuba diving activities. This year, the club is planning to have an underwater pumpkin carving on Halloween and an underwater Olympics later in the year. The club is also planning scuba diving trips to locations such as West Palm Beach and the Florida Keys.

Matt Taitt, a senior in economics and the president of the Egyptian Dive Club, also said there are several local lakes, such as Mermaid Springs, that can be used for scuba diving.


Jerry Nuss, a diving instructor at SIUC, helps with dive instruction during the club practices and gives private lessons to those who do not want to wait a full semester to become certified. Nuss said many of the members are environmentally concerned and often pick up garbage underwater. He also encourages the public the try scuba diving.

“Seventy percent of the earth is water,” Nuss said. “Take advantage of it.”

While many may view scuba diving as dangerous, Taitt said he always feels very safe because everyone is well trained. He encourages anyone interested to come by and check diving out.

“Anyone who has ever watched the Discovery Channel and thought it was cool should try it,” Taitt said.

Reporter Jennifer Rios can be reached at jrios@dailyegyptian .com