Chamber Day fundraiser returns to Catalina

Courtesy Photo The event includes a walking tour of our Chamber facilities, as well as a chance to talk with various rescue and first-responders.

Event supports operation of Hyperbaric Chamber

The waters off Catalina Island, are just one popular spot around Southern California for divers to explore the ocean. But with those trips to the deep blue sea, comes an amount of risk. Since 1974, the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber has been at the ready, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to provide medical treatment for divers in the event of an accident.

Aside from just treating diving accident victims, the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber is a research and education tool, working in conjunction with USC and other organizations to help train and educate divers and dive operators on how to recognize and handle diving accident victims.

Not only is the chamber on duty 24/7/365, even during the pandemic it stayed operational and open. In efforts to help fund the operating costs of the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber, the annual Chamber Day fundraising event is held each year in May. This year, the annual event is scheduled for May 3.

“Chamber Day is not only a vital fund-raiser for our Chamber, but is also the largest single-day scuba charity event in the U.S.,” Chamber Day Chairman Ken Kurtis states in message to potential attendees.

The USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber is located at Big Fisherman’s Cove in Two Harbors, which will be one of the sites for the day. Seven boats will be hosting dives that day for those who dive, but there will be other events for those who have no intention of getting in the water, but would still like to support the chamber.

One of those is the opportunity to become a part of shipping tales of ‘lore with a visit to the “Flying Dutchman.” The Dutchman was pirate ship that struck fear in the hearts of those who came upon it according to shipping tales. Seeing its mast on the horizon was bad news for sea vessels.

“For Chamber Day, it’s good news,” Kurtis said.

Even those who can’t attend any of the in-person events can get a ticket on the ‘Flying Dutchman’ with a donation that gets them a custom t-shirt, raffle tickets and a nod to their dive shop/club if so affiliated. There will also be tours of the chamber facility and dinner that night at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. The dinner event at the Aquarium will also have a virtual option for people who want to donate and view the events.

The biggest donors can simply join the Chamber Challenge by offering large donations to help fund the operation of the chamber for the year. Last year, the challenge brought in more than $125,000 of the nearly $175K raised.

“That makes up a big portion of our annual budget,” Kurtis said.

The Catalina Hyperbaric provides a vital service to the dive community, as well as educational support. Chamber Day helps support that effort. For more on how you can help, visit or call 310-652-4990.