GREENVILLE — An area man is taking his nature conservation efforts to Florida, and having fun at the same time.
Roger Van Frank, director of Darke County Park District, will be diving with the “Sea Hunt Forever!” cast at Silver Springs State Park, Silver Springs, Florida, March 19 and 20.
Van Frank, a vintage equipment scuba diver and collector, said, “Underwater scenes from the 1958 to 1961 TV series Sea Hunt will be reenacted and viewed from glass bottom boats by 8,000 to 10,000 guests at the Florida Springs attraction.”
Silver Springs is Florida’s oldest tourist attraction, famous for its crystal-clear waters. Underwater scenes from many old Hollywood films have shot there, such as Tarzan, and Creature from the Black Lagoon, to name a few.
“Over 155 episodes were made for the Sea Hunt series, and of those, 140 were made at Silver Springs,” Van Frank said. “I am excited to participate in this, the Florida Springsfest 2016.”
He added, “The importance of the preservation and conservation of lands surrounding Florida State Park’s Silver Springs is at a critical point. The event promoters and Vintage Equipment Scuba Divers hope to bring about an increased awareness and renewed understanding of this conservation effort.”
As part of The Florida Springs Fest 2016 annual celebration, Vintage Double Hose (VDH) Worldwide LLC, will be bringing a multi-faceted presentation titled, Sea Hunt Forever! Underwater Naturalist, Jonathan Bird will be filming an episode of his award-winning show, Jonathan Birds Blue World, during the event. Commercial Printing of Greenville, Ohio, has sponsored the international brochure that will be given to more than 10,0000 visitors for this two-day event.
World-renowned collector and historian of Sea Hunt memorabilia, Alec Pierce of Scuba 2000 in Toronto, Canada, will be displaying his one-of-a-kind collection containing memorabilia and props from the Sea Hunt TV show and Silver Springs. Most items are found nowhere else in the world and some have not been seen for decades.
Members of the original cast and support members from the Sea Hunt series will be in attendance and scuba divers in period correct vintage scuba gear will be reenacting scenes and entertaining the guests on glass bottom boat tours, both above and below the surface during the two-day event. Event and Sea Hunt memorabilia raffle tickets are currently being sold on line at https://www.raffleriver.com/app/raffle/3558-Sea-Hunt-Forever-Divers-Support-Raffle/ with winners of the memorabilia being chosen the day after the event.
Van Frank has been scuba diving since he was 11 and was originally certified to scuba dive in 1967.
“My interest in diving came from my oldest brother and, of course, from watching those early shows of Sea Hunt starring Lloyd Bridges, who portrayed Mike Nelson, as a retired Navy Diver.” Van Frank said.
“I am looking forward to diving in Silver Springs and working with the thousands of visitors coming to the event,” he continued. “My plans are to encourage those stewards of tomorrow to become involved in the preservation of this important natural resource both above and below the surface.”
For more information on the event, visit the website www.SeaHunt2016.com or search “Sea Hunt Forever!” on Facebook.