DOCKERY, Denzel “Doc” James
Last updated: December 21, 2018 at 5:49 am
Created the American red and white Diver Down flag with his wife Ruth in 1956, which was then popularized by Ted Nixon of U.S. Divers; founded the Vortex Spring Diving Resort in Ponce De Leon, Florida; invented the pneumatic yoke and preset piston regulator; veteran of the United States Navy.
As of December 2018, there is still debate as to who actually created the Diver Down flag. Denzel “Doc” James Dockery gave his side of the story on ScubaBoard in October 2007:
“Ted worked for us after the first flag was discovered to be a flag of Austria and we changed ours to be the diagonal white stripe over a field of red. 5 increments long, 4 increments wide with one increment white stripe diagonal from top left to bottom right. There were only about a dozen flags being used by the Pescadores club. Ted became a member of the club and worked part time as a sales rep for US Divers and also worked for Divers Supply as a summer vendor at the “shanks gravel pit” in Durand, Michigan. His job was to rent Diving equipment, float tubes and fill tanks. When he went full time with US Divers he took our flag with him and sold them clear across the country. He got a 20% commission and did very well. We never tried to protect our creation only promote it. Ted played a big part in getting the flag known but he did not create it.”
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Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.