A remembrance for deep-sea diver and diving safety advocate Ellis R. Cross, 86, who died May 8 in Port Angeles, Wash., will be observed by Hawaii friends Monday with a scattering of ashes off Diamond Head and a memorial service.
By Harold Morse
Cross lived and worked some 30 years in Hawaii. "He spent his life diving," recalled his wife, Dianna. "He just last Saturday was installed in the Scuba Divers Hall of Fame."
Cross won many diving awards and always worked to promote diving safety, she said. "That was his main call of life, to see that people did it properly."
Cross began his diving career after joining the Navy in 1933, where he spent 14 years. He attended the Navy School of Deep Sea Diving, and later led a diving salvage group at the time of the 1946 Bikini atomic bomb tests.
He left Navy service later that year to become a civilian instructor in deep sea diving at Wilmington, Calif, purchasing the school there in 1947 and running it until 1954.
Two years later, he acquired a 60-foot schooner and equipped it with commercial diving gear. He went on a 2-1/2-year world cruise of 18,000 miles to convey safety techniques to divers in places that had high death rates because of diving accidents. This effort included instructing divers and writing official manuals for the Mexican government.
Arriving in Hawaii in 1960, Cross was employed as a diver and later as marine superintendent in charge of building Chevron's tanker mooring terminal at Barbers Point.
Later, he was concerned with maintenance and repair of Chevron mooring and pipelines offshore. Still later, as director of Clean Islands Council, he was active in a number of spill cleanups.
Along the way, he authored several books on diving and related topics. One of his specialities was underwater photography. Deepwater shells he gathered while diving won him the Smithsonian Award for the best collection of rare Hawaiian shells.
Memorial contributions in his name may be made to: The Historical Diving Society USA, c/o Dianna Cross, P.O. Box 1267, Port Angeles, Wash. 98362-0234.