The recipient of the 2009 California Scuba Service Award is Sal Zammitti, owner of the Bay Area Bamboo Reef Dive stores. This award was established in 1989 by Saint Brendan Corp. (parent company of California Diving News and the SCUBA Show) to recognize those who have made significant and long lasting contributions to the California diving community.
Sal was certified as a NAUI instructor in 1961 and has personally certified over 1,500 divers. Throughout the 1960s, Sal helped open branches of New England Divers in Los Angeles, San Diego Miami, and Seattle. In 1970, he went to San Francisco and purchased Bamboo Reef. Through New England Divers and Bamboo Reef he has been instrumental in certifying over 10,000 divers.
Sal has mentored many in the dive industry including manufacturers, sales reps, instructors and dive shop owners. In 1993 Sal was in the first class of inductees to the Platinum Pro 5000 Divers.
Sal’s great passion has been making Bamboo Reef and Northern California diving what it is today. In his early years at Bamboo Reef, he could be found every weekend teaching and diving in Monterey or the North Coast of California. Sal loves the Channel Islands and has not missed a single Bamboo Reef trip there in over 20 years. His favorite dive is Farnsworth Banks off Catalina.
He has been featured in Skin Diver magazine and has been in several episodes of Mythbusters, most notably their Jaws episode. Bob Cahill wrote about Sal in Diary of the Depths. He has been a safety diver on Dirty Harry, What’s Up Doc and other movies and T.V. shows.
Zammitti received the CSSA at the SCUBA Show May 30 2009.
Original Aritcle Written by California Diving News, April 13, 2009