Dan Orr has been a dive professional for over 50 years. During that time, he has been involved in many facets of recreational, commercial, scientific and military diving. He has worked and taught recreational diving in a retail store, developed and implemented course curricula in the academic environment, collected data and supervised research efforts in the field of science diving, tested diving equipment for military contractors and worked for or served on the Boards of various not-for-profit organizations during his career.
In 2013, after 23 years at Divers Alert Network (DAN), he retired as DAN President. During his tenure at DAN, he has helped DAN focus on its mission to help divers in need worldwide while promoting successful business and administrative practices. As a result, DAN has grown to be one of the most successful organizations in our industry while living up to the expectations of its members and supporters.
When he originally came to DAN, he was responsible for developing and implementing the DAN Oxygen Program. This program has become the worldwide standard in training divers to provide emergency oxygen to injured divers. Prior to that, he worked at both Florida State and Wright State Universities helping to make diver education and safety programs at both universities some of the most comprehensive educational experiences available. He has been involved in diver education for over 45 years as an instructor with many of the training associations including PADI (#2776(, NAUI (#5612), and the YMCA. He is also an IANTD Nitrox instructor (#10) and a NACD Full Cave Diver. During that time, he assumed positions of responsibility with a number of the training associations including NAUI (Mid-America Branch Manager and Founding Director of the Technical Advisory Group), the YMCA Scuba Program (Scuba Commissioner for the Great Lakes Region) and the NACD as regional safety director.
Following his retirement from DAN, he and wife Betty formed Dan Orr Consulting LLC, providing assistance and expertise to the global diving community.
He has published and co-authored hundreds of articles and a dozen books and manuals including: Scuba Diving Safety (2007), Pocket Guide to First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries; Pocket Guide for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries; DAN Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries Training Manual; the NOAA Diving Manual, and numerous articles in national and international magazines and journals. He has also been an invited lecturer a meetings of the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS); the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society (SPUMS); the International Conference on Underwater Education (ICUE); the International Congress on Drowning (Amsterdam); as well as all major worldwide diving consumer and trade shows.
During his diving career, he has made a commitment to serve through volunteerism with many of the non-profit organizations in our industry. He has been elected to leadership positions in International DAN (Chairman of the Board 2005-2013); Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA –Chairman of the Board 2018-2019 & Chairman of the Public Policy Committee 2011-present); Historical Diving Society (President and Chairman of the Board 2003-2007, 2011-2016); the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (Chairman of the Board 1999-2001 and President 2015-present); the Institute of Diving and Museum of Man-in-the-Sea (President & Chairman of the Board 1988-1991); the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society (Chairman of the Scholar Selection Committee 1993-2004); National Association for Cave Diving (Board Member and Regional Safety Officer 1988-1991), the ADM Exploration Foundation (2009-2014), WCH Media Group (Chairman of the Board 2015-present), Force Blue (Chairman of the Board of Directors 2018-present) and Recreational Scuba Training Council (2016-present).
He has also been honored by his peers by being the recipient of many prestigious awards and honors including the Wright State University Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence, the Wright State University Education Department Award for Teaching Excellence, the NOGI Award in Sports/Education, the Leonard Greenstone Award for Outstanding Contributions to Diving Safety, the Our World-Underwater Award, the NAUI Award for Outstanding Contributions to Diving, the Alberta Underwater Council’s Award of Merit; Beneath the Sea’s Diver of the Year, the DAN Asia-Pacific Contributions to Diving Safety Award, the DEMA Reaching Out Award, the Wyland Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement and the NAUI Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also been honored by being inducted as an Associate Boston Sea Rover, a member of the Disabled Divers Hall of Fame, the DEMA Hall of Fame, the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame and the NAUI Hall of Honor.
He served his country in the US Navy and Reserves (1966-1976). During that time, he served aboard the USS Steinaker (DD863) while on combat tour in Viet Nam (1968). He also was qualified as a US Navy Diver (NEC0000/5345).