DAN Mourns the Loss of Industry Pioneer Lee Selisky


Durham, NC (July 19, 2018) – Lee Selisky was an adventurous cold-water diver when he recognized a need for custom weights to use with his drysuit; with ingenuity and hard work he helped launch a significant evolution in dive equipment. Famously known as the "lead king," Selisky began molding weights in his back yard and rapidly progressed to pioneering the large-scale design and manufacture of weights in previously impossible shapes, colors and coatings through his business, Sea Pearls.

Selisky brought that same drive and leadership to the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), serving as president and board member and guiding the association through the turbulent heyday of diving. A dedicated diver since 1967 and explorer of shipwrecks from Lake Superior to Truk Lagoon, Selisky was an early adopter and vocal proponent of nitrox in spite of the controversy that initially surrounded the gas. He was also an avid collector of dive memorabilia; his collection of diving helmets is one of the largest private collections in the world.



A recipient of the 2017 DAN Lifetime Achievement Award, Selisky served on Divers Alert Network's board of directors and was involved in many altruistic ventures in diving, exploration and education. DAN CEO Bill Ziefle reflected, "Lee Selisky devoted his life to diving. Though most people knew him as the founder and CEO of Sea Pearls, Lee was passionate about helping the next generation of divers, and he recently funded the Lee Selisky Youth Scholarship Program through the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (AUAS). He should also be remembered for his active service on many industry boards, including DAN's. His thoughtful counsel helped guide the dive industry for more than four decades."

Selisky spent more than 50 years advancing diving technology and safety and making a difference in the lives of those he met. He passed away on July 18, surrounded by loved ones. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Lorie, his daughter and son-in-law, Maria and Rob Nordlund, and his two granddaughters, Jamie and Jennifer. His ashes will be spread over the South Pacific.

Reflecting on his mortality in the months before his passing, Selisky said, "My work and my family make me feel my time on Earth has been worthwhile." He will be missed.
About DAN: The world's most recognized and respected dive safety organization, Divers Alert Network (DAN) has remained committed to the safety and wellbeing of divers for more than 35 years. The DAN organization's research, medical service programs and global response initiatives create an extensive network capable of supporting divers with vital services – from injury prevention through the offering of safety and educational programs to the facilitation of lifesaving evacuations. Every day, hundreds of thousands of divers around the world look to DAN as their dive safety organization. Join the DAN community and learn more at DAN.org.