Meet Jim Gatacre founder of the Handicapped Scuba Association


The Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) had its genesis in 1975 at University of California-Irvine (UCI) as a research program looking at self-image changes for scuba diving students 'with disabilities' learning together with students 'without disabilities'. Participants were required to perform all physical performance standards for Scuba certification, even if they had to do them differently....

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Like most of us, when I was first disabled I spent my time counting the things I couldn't do, and feeling remorseful about all the physical activities I had always wanted to try that 'I thought' were no longer available to me. Scuba diving was on the top of that list. When Scuba diving became a reality to me it changed my downhill life, even before I blew one bubble! Scuba diving reinstated...

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James A. F. (Jim) Gatacre is a NAUI Instructor and Course Director (Instructor Trainer). In 1972, while attending college, he sustained an injury to his right arm that left it paralysed. He started Scuba diving in 1973 as a means to recover emotionally, to re-establish his self-image that had been severely damaged, and in 1975, to help organize and teach the first Scuba course for people with...

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Welcome to HSA Travel

Click here to access travel tools, such as Accessible Boats, Accessible Aquariums, Accessible Resorts, Assistance on Accessible Travel, and Stories of Adventure by Divers with Disabilities.

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Welcome to HSA Training Schedules

Click here for Instructor Training Courses & Dive Buddy Courses. HSA Course Directors (Instructor Trainers) post their upcoming HSA Instructor Training Courses & Dive Buddy Courses. HSA Instructors post their upcoming HSA Dive Buddy Courses. The upcoming Instructor Training Courses & Dive Buddy Courses are listed by Country. To change Countries, upper right dropdown menu, choose country.

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Welcome to the HSA Store

Click here to purchase HSA/Cousteau Films, HSA Flags, Logo Wear, to make Donations to the HSA and more.

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Divers in Action

Visit our Youtube channel to see HSA Scuba Divers with Disabilities accept the challenge to become part of a world that has barely been explored. Join Linda Norlund diving in Bonaire with Jim Gatacre. Linda has a brain injury causing loss of control over muscles that enable her to walk and control her speech. Linda is an avid diver and world traveller.


2024 NOGI Recipients

The AUAS is an international, multidisciplinary, non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing pioneers and leaders who have had a global impact on the exploration, enjoyment, safety, and preservation of the underwater world. AUAS is committed to supporting its members as they pass on the stewardship of the sea to future generations.