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Our Directors Bio

Name:  Cam Cliffton
Language: Primary: English, Secondary: German
Certification Agency: PADI, DSAT, DRI, IANTD, TDI
Certification Level: Master Scuba Diver Trainer - IDC Staff Instructor - Trimix Diver - Tec Trimix Instructor
Professional Since: 1994
Specialty Instructor for:

Wreck Diver, Advanced Wreck Diver, Deep Diver, Enriched Air Nitrox, Search and Recovery Diver, Underwater Navigation, U/W Photography, U/W Videographer, Equipment Specialist, Night Diver, Boat Diver, Altitude Diver, Dry Suit Diver, Drift Diver, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Project Aware, Aware Coral Reef, Puget Sound Marine Life Distinctive Specialty, River Diver Distinctive Specialty, REEF Fish ID, Underwater Naturalist, Tec Deep Diver, Tec 40, Tec 45, Tec 50, and Tec Trimix (Tec 65), Recreational Trimix, , Trimix Gas Blender, Sidemount Diver...

And others...


Other Instructional Certifications:

Emergency First Response Instructor, Primary Care (CPR), Secondary Care (First Aid), Automated External Defibrillator (AED), EFR for Children (including infants) and AED for children.

Divers Alert Network (DAN) Instructor for the following:   


National Registry Emergency Medical Technician

Wilderness Medical Associates: Wilderness EMT

DRI (Dive Rescue International):  Public Safety Diver Technician II 

DRI (Dive Rescue International):  Medical Dive Specialist

SWORD (Southern Washington Organization of Rescue Divers):  Training Officer

ACA Swift Water Rescue Certified (level 4)

Rescue 3 Swiftwater Rescue Technician Advanced (SRTA)

IANTD Certified: Nitrox and Trimix Gas Blender Instructor

PSI (Professional Scuba Inspectors) Certified: Visual Cylinder Inspector, Eddy Current Technician and Valve Repair Technician

Diving History and Experience:

Cam has been a diver since 1987, he was officially certified in California in 1989. His first picture taken of him diving is in his High School yearbook at age 17. He then went into the NAVY, and dove all over the world for 6 years. When he came back he decided to become an instructor, and has been involved with the SCUBA teaching process since 1994. He received his PADI Instructor rating in 1995.

He has led many SCUBA excursions both as an Instructor and as a Dive Master all over the world (Guam, Siapan, Truk, Palau, Yap, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Australia, the Red Sea, the Persian gulf, Kenya, Grand Cayman, and the Mediterranean Sea to name a few). He has logged over 4000 dives (he stopped counting) since he was certified in 1987.

His true area of expertise however, is NW cold water diving, including leading many different trips to Canada over the last 18 years. He also specializes in search and recovery operations, if its been lost underwater, he can usually find it! This includes planning and executing trips to find things as small as lost rings, to as large as sunken vessels (wrecks). As a member of S.W.O.R.D he also uses this skill to help local counties find and recover things like cars, crime scene evidence, and unfortunately even missing people.

He was a collection diver for the Seattle Aquarium for 5 years. In that capacity he worked at collecting live specimens from all over the NW for the Aquarium. He was involved in collection trips, and assisted the Seattle Aquarium marine biologists in many different areas such as collecting, counting, feeding, cleaning, and care for a variety of different NW species.

Cam was a member of the Aquarium Docent Program, and was trained as a Pacific NW marine life Docent, during this time he was specially trained and took part in the Sea Otter Watch program in which a trained team of volunteers successfully assisted the recovery and rehabilitation of Sea Otters. During this same time Cam was part of the dive team used to film the Discovery Channel program "Ultimate Guide to the Octopus". The teams mission was finding and filming the Pacific Giant Octopus. They were very successful, and the show aired back in 2000. Part of his job was to help locate the animals, and then more importantly to get them out in the open gently, and in front of the camera.

Cam has elevated in the ranks of Technical Diving over the last decade as well. As a full Trimix Diver. and DSAT Tec Trimix Instructor he now conducts deep mixed gas dives to 300ft (give or take) and documents via HD Video what he finds there. In his words, he finds that managing multiple deco bottles, a video camera, wreck penetration reels, low visibility, and cold water, while trying to maintain near perfect buoyancy at the same time is, "a bit of a challenge". Cam now teaches our Technical Diver Certifications through the DSAT Tec programs, and has completed his Technical Wreck Instructor certification.When given the rare opportunity to dive for himself and not for work Cam chooses to dive "tec" regardless of the dive profile. He claims that, "...even on shallow dives I prefer the technical rig to a recreational one, diving singles has just too many limitations for me." He is currently spending much of his "free" time trying to help grow the technical diving community in the NW and around the world.

Cam averages about 150 dives a year, including ocean, lake, and river dives, 60% of which is cold water diving, and the balance is conducted overseas while on training trips, or expeditions.




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Last modified: January 28, 2014