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Diver, sponges, and fish

Dr. Robert O. Levitt

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Dr. Robert O. Levitt, a Savannah area internist, loved scuba diving.

He was a pioneer in dive medicine, writing several professional articles in the 1970s to help other physicians understand the rigors of recreational scuba diving and the health issues their diving patients might face. He taught scuba for many years and wrote the first diving instruction text books used by the YMCA's diving instructors.

Dr. Levitt was inspired by undersea explorer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau and by Lloyd Bridges' early television show, "Sea Hunt" to carry on his own diving adventures, favoring the West Indies and Mexico. He spent time diving with the Cousteau family.

While practicing medicine in the Chicago area, Dr. Levitt became involved with the Shed Aquarium. He and a group of recreational divers went on to found "Our World Underwater", a consumer oriented dive show with an ocean film component. The "Our World Underwater Scholarship Society" enables students to spend one year working side by side with leaders in underwater fields.

In his role as president of the Coastal Georgia Archaeological Society, Dr. Levitt brought the International Society for Historical Archaeology's Conference for Historical and Underwater Archaeology to Savannah. At that meeting's film component, Savannah's residents were the first to see Dr. Bob Ballard's original underwater footage of the ship Titanic.

His widow, Kathryn Levitt carries on Dr. Levitt's interest in and concern for the ocean world today with her continued support of the Gray's Reef Ocean Film Festival.


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