Bob Hollis, a pioneer in scuba diving, an underwater photographer, and an expert in dive equipment, died at age 85 on January 4 in Salt Lake City, Utah, surrounded by his family. Bob was also an expert in dive equipment. He was an authority in scuba gear and techniques.
Today, Bob Hollis is most recognized for starting the company that bears his name, Hollis, a technical diving equipment producer. However, he was also the originator of other renowned diving companies like Oceanic and Aeris, housed within the corporation known as American Underwater Products (AUP), which he first started in 1972. Following then, Oceanic and Aeris came together to become Oceanic. Pelagic Pressure Systems, a business that specialized in diving instruments, was another one of his ventures that he started in 1979. ROMI Enterprises was a machining firm that manufactured metal components for AUP products. It was founded in 1984 by him and his son Mike. These companies remain, to this day, actively engaged in business.
Hollis was born in Orland, California, on April 25, 1937, and had his first scuba diving instruction in 1955. Hollis’s birthday is April 25. He quickly became enamored with the underwater environment in California after meeting some of the pioneers of underwater photography there. As a result, he started creating his diving gear and camera housings for his underwater photography equipment. In time, he even established his own business specializing in underwater photography. In 1966, he launched his retail outlet for scuba diving, which he named the Anchor Shack. From this location, he promoted and sold camera housings and other items associated with scuba diving.
In 1972, he formed Oceanic as a sub-brand of American Underwater Products, Oceanic’s parent firm. Oceanic’s parent company was known as American Underwater Products. Over the subsequent few years, he incorporated several additional companies. By 1980, Oceanic had expanded to become one of the biggest and most well-known makers of scuba diving equipment in the whole globe.
Hollis was in charge of directing the production of the Oceanic Datamax, which was the industry’s first mechanical depth gauge to include a digital timer. In 1981, it was introduced on the market, and its release was a significant step toward developing digital diving computers. When Hollis directed the development of digital equipment for underwater use, he was aware of the growing popularity of digital technology and the need for more precision.
Huish Outdoors was able to further consolidate its position as one of the most successful diving equipment manufacturers when it successfully completed the purchase of AUP in 2017. In a statement that was made following Hollis’ death, a spokeswoman for Huish referred to Hollis as “a breakthrough impact in both the sport of scuba diving and underwater photography.” Hollis had passed away. In the same statement, the representative continued by saying that Hollis “left a legacy not just as a pioneer but also as an entrepreneur, businessman, and family guy.”
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