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Scuba Pioneer C. Lambertsen Passes Away

Submitted by admin on 2011-02-21

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Christian J. Lambertsen, inventor of the Lambertsen Amphibious Respirator Unit has died at the age of 93.

Lambertsen was a well known Major in the U.S Army Medical Corps. He was the inventor of the Lambertsen Amphibious Respirator Unit, a rebreather unit used by the U.S Navy frogmen in the 1940s. It was the first diving unit to be labelled with the term SCUBA, a term which is now a global synonym for diving with compressed air.

Lambertsen was born in Westfield, New Jersey on May 15, 1917. He attended Rutgers University and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1939 at the age of 22. In 1943 he graduated from medical school in Pennsylvania. When he was 60 he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.

He was also the founder and director of The Environmental Biomedical Stress Data center at the University of Pennsylvania.

The term SCUBA wasn't used until a paper written by Lambertsen and a colleague in 1952 was published that the phrase "Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus" which was shortened to SCUBA was used.

In the initial days following his invention he had trouble getting it approved for Navy use, though after giving demonstrations in 1942 to the Navy officials in the Office of Strategic Services things changes. The Navy soon accepted the LARU and it was not long before it was in use.

He passed away on the 11 February 2011 of renal failure and is survived by his four sons and six grandchildren.


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R.I.P :(

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