I-TEAM: Jacksonville diving school no longer part of commercial dive association

President of Association of Diving Contractors Inc. says he was trying to do audit after 2 student divers died during school-sanctioned dives

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There’s an update to a News4JAX I-TEAM investigation into a commercial diving school in Jacksonville.

The president of the Association of Diving Contractors Inc. says CDA Technical Institute is no longer affiliated with his organization.

This means the ADCI will no longer issue certifications for graduates. These certifications are necessary to get most jobs as a commercial diver in the United States and other countries.

Phil Newsum, president of ADCI, said he was trying to do an audit after two student divers died during school-sanctioned dives. A third person died at a graduation party in Ginnie Springs, however, he was no longer a student.

However, CDA owner Ray Black chose to relinquish his membership in lieu of an audit.

This is effective June 1.

It leaves current CDA students in a tough space as they will not get certified upon graduation. They can try to transfer to another member school and can reach out to ADCI for assistance.

“I feel horrible for the students, feel even worse for the family and friends of the students who were lost,” Newsum said. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my time in the association and certainly well in the industry period for that matter.”

Newsum said it was not his place to comment on the future of the school.

CDA staff members have told the I-TEAM many times they have no comment.

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Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.