Lieutenant Adhir Chandra
Bhattacharjee, VSM, the doyen of Indian diving industry, was
born in 1924 in undivided Bengal, India. He joined the Royal Indian
Navy in 1943. After Independence, he was the first Indian to be
selected for training at the Royal Navy diving school HMS Vernon
and became India's first Deep Sea Diver in the year 1948. In 1961,
he was commissioned in the navy and took charge as the first Indian
Officer In-charge of the Indian Navy Diving School (Formerly
Torpedo and Anti Submarine School.) at INS Venduruthy, Kochi.
He is widely acclaimed
as the Founding Father of the diving branch of Indian Navy. For
his meritorious service to the Indian Navy and to the nation,
Late Dr. Zakir Hussein, then President of India, awarded him the Vishist
Seva Medal. He resigned his commission with the navy in 1971 and
went on to found Abee Engineering Corporation, India's first commercial
diving and underwater engineering company.
The Indian commercial diving
industry, to a large extent, owes its very existence to this pioneer.
He passed away in 1982 leaving behind a thriving Abee Engineering
Corporation and a vibrant commercial diving industry.