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The Long Island Divers Association (LIDA) is a not-for-profit regional organization dedicated to the promotion of local diving, the representation of divers interests throughout the diving and general community, and the protection of divers rights through outreach to our local and regional government officials. We are funded by member dues and donations and the proceeds from our annual Film Festival fundraiser. LIDA is staffed completely by volunteers.

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In Memory of Captain Hank Garvin

It is with both profound sadness and fond memories that the Long Island Divers Association marks the passing of one of the true giants of Northeast Scuba diving, Captain Hank Garvin.

Many remember him as the Captain/Owner of the R.V. Garloo, one of the great dive boats serving our community. He was so much more. Even the name of his boat reflected his warmth and humor. Most know that his boat was once known as the R.V. Wahoo when owned by Captain Steve Bielenda, Hank being one of the Captains of that boat. Many think that the "Garloo" designation was simply a name change reflecting Captain Hank's name. It was much more. Not all may remember that "Garloo" was Captain Hank's self-effacing "nickname" for many years. "The Great Garloo" was a popular children's toy in early the 1960's. It was was a large, giant of a green "monster", almost like the more modern "Hulk" character. But the "Great Garloo" was a gentle and kind Giant, a best toy friend to children. Captain Hank, a giant of a man in every way, was "Garloo".

He was a legendary diver long before he was a Captain and Boat Owner. According to his friend Captain Steve Bielenda, he began serious diving in the early 1980's and rapidly became one of the most accomplished divers of his era. In addition to the "Oregon" and the "San Diego", the "Andria Doria" was among his favorite haunts. He was always willing and anxious to help others benefit from his experiences and expertise, keeping safety his first concern. To call him a legendary explorer of Northeast wrecks is an understatement. Such accomplished divers and explorers as Dan Berg, John Lachenmeyer, Frank Persico, Bill Reddan, Paula Jerman, Steve and Maureen Langevan, Steve Bielenda, Sally Wahrman, and so many others could regale you with hours of stories and memories of this special man. And not just as a diver, as "Hank".

Captain Hank was an early and constant supporter of the Long Island Divers Association, its members and its goals. Just recently, when LIDA took on a project to aid some underprivileged inner city divers for the Harbor School to become exposed to Long Island Diving, Captain Hank, as he always did, "stepped up to the plate". Without prompting or request, he made the R.V. Garloo available for these young men and women, without charge. He wouldn't even accept fuel reimbursement. That was Hank! And of course, Captain Hank never spoke of or sought praise for that or the many things he did for the dive community. I never recall Captain Hank not coming through whenever the opportunity arose, and dare say that no one else could. He was a special man. His heart was a big as his frame.

A service for Hank Garvin will be held this Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 12:30pm, at I.J. Morris Funeral Home, 21 East Deer Park Drive, Dix Hills, New York. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name to the Harbor School, Maritime Cadets, and the friends and children Hank so often took on his boat, would be a loving and fitting tribute to Captain Hank.

Donations may be made through the Long Island Divers Association in Captain Hank's name. Calm seas and fair weather Captain Hank. You will always be remembered, and revered.


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Last modified: June 23 2015