CDA Technical Institute's Commercial Diver Program



CAPTAIN RAY BLACK CDA TECHNICAL INSTITUTE FOUNDER, CEOCapt. Ray Black began his diving career 28 years ago serving in the USMC/USN. After an Honorable discharge, he continued his career working in all aspects of commercial diving. Capt. Black founded Commercial Diving Academy in 1995 and his goal then was to produce certified world class divers.  This commitment remains the same today, as CDA Technical Institute prepares students with the necessary skills needed and sought after by the diving industry.  Capt. Black holds qualifications as ADCI Bell/Saturation Diving Supervisor, Peruvian Bell/Saturation Diving Supervisor, DCBC Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diving Supervisor, DCBC Assessor, USCG 100 Ton Unrestricted Operator License, SDI/TDI Technical Diving Supervisor, Speciality Welds UK Underwater Welding Specialist,  ERDI Public Safety Diving Instructor, NAUI Course Director, NASE College Director and PDIC Instructor.



Alex started his diving career in 1990 as a Navy Diver. Throughout his naval career he was involved in many high profile diving operations such as Hurricane Katrina Recovery Operations, Debris recovery for Space Shuttle Columbia, USS Monitor Salvage Operations and wartime deployments to the Middle East. Working his way through the ranks, Alex eventually mastered deep water diving technique and achieved the qualification as Mixed Gas Diving Supervisor. He was instrumental in creating the Deep Diving Detachment for the Navy’s Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit, the only one of its kind on the east coast. After retiring from the Navy in 2008, Alex “put on the hat” again and went to work offshore for Cal Dive International.  He moved his way to Diver 1/Supervisor and dived on many different offshore oil and gas dynamics such as hot taps, oil rig abatement, underwater burning and oil rig pipeline inspection and repair.

Seeing an opportunity in 2013 to exercise leadership and bestow a passion for Commercial Diving, Alex took the Lead Supervisor position at CDA Institute, Deep Water Training Center in Ocala, Florida. Alex and his family reside there where you can find him directing his trade to young and inspiring minds.


WALTER JOSLYN, LEAD CDA TECHNICAL INSTITUTE INSTRUCTORMr. Joslyn retired from the USN in 1990 after 23 years of service as a First Class Diver and Diving Officer. During his Navy diving career, his jobs included heavy underwater salvage, diving instructor at both Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center and Naval School of Diving and Salvage. Mr. Joslyn also qualified as a Master Training Specialist, Life Support Systems Certifications Officer, QA Officer for Diver Life Support Systems and HEO2 diving supervisor. Walt is a DCBC Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diving Supervisor, a Dive Medic Technician (DMT) Instructor and Hyperbaric Technology Instructor with the National Board of Diving Medicine and Hyperbaric Technology (NBDHMT).  Mr. Joslyn is currently the chairman of Hyperbaric Diving Operations for the council on Hyperbarics for the DCBC.  After retiring from the Navy, he has worked as a Hyperbaric Chamber Operator, commercial rigger, crane inspector, and repair technician. He has returned to what he loves, which is teaching.



Mr. Koteski started diving in 1987 as a Diver in the Yugoslavian Navy. He left the Navy in 1989 and worked as a commercial diver for Irix, a Commercial Diving and Construction company. Vinko fabricated concrete forms for docks and pilings, worked in electrical power plants and installed underwater pipelines for municipal water delivery systems. He also worked for the Macedonian Government excavating a 4000 year old underwater archaeological site. Mr. Koteski has performed underwater salvage operations and opened Kaneo Diving in 1998, a recreational scuba instructional school. Mr. Koteski has worked as a Commercial Diver in Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and the United States. He speaks English, Croatian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, and Macedonian. Vinko is a DCBC Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diving Supervisor, a NASE Master Instructor, SDI Instructor Trainer, NAUI Instructor and an SSI Instructor.


MICK PARKINSON, CDA TECHNICAL INSTITUTE INSTRUCTOR AND STORE MANAGERMr. Parkinson came to CDA Technical Institute (CDA), formerly Commercial Diving Academy, after having served in the Royal Navy for 25 years as an R.N. An avid recreational diver, he has been diving since 1985. He currently holds Instructor status with the following agencies: British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC Advanced Instructor), SSI DiveCon Instructor, NASE Master Instructor, NAUI Instructor, SDI Instructor Trainer, Handicapped Scuba Diving Instructor and a PADI Dive Master. Mr. Parkinson’s passion is diving safety and to this end he holds the following Instructor Certifications with DAN, AED, O2 for Divers, O2 for Aquatic Injuries, Hazardous Marine Life Injuries. Recently, he became a DAN Diving Emergency Specialist and is also a BSAC Advanced Lifesaver, Diver Rescue Specialist and a Practical Rescue Management Instructor.   He is a DCBC Restricted Surface Supplied Diving Supervisor.  Mr. Parkinson recently completed his Pharmacy Technicians diploma, Veterinary Technicians diploma, and has a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and Abnormal Psychology. 


MATT THOMAS, CDA TECHNICAL INSTITUTE INSTRUCTORMr. Thomas served four years in the Naval Submarine service and then he attended the College of Oceaneering and graduated as a certified commercial diver. After returning to Jacksonville, Mr. Thomas worked for various inland diving companies on bridge inspections, dry docking of Naval ships, and dredging. He then joined an offshore company, Chet Morrison Contractors, diving in the Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Thomas started as a tender and was promoted to a diver, and then obtained the certification of Life Support Technician (LST). He continued his career with Bisso Marine, working as a LST. Mr. Thomas is working to train future divers at CDA as an Air/Mixed Gas Commercial Diving Instructor.


Mike Barron - CDA Technical Institute InstructorMr. Barron started his diving career in 1989 for an inland diving company in New Jersey; in 1994 he attended and successfully completed commercial dive school at the Divers Academy of the Eastern Seaboard. Upon graduation from dive school Michael continued as a Union diver for Local1456 in New York. Migrating to the gulf of Mexico in 1999, he worked for 16 years for various dive companies including:  Oceaneering, Torch, Superior and Legacy Offshore.

Mr. Barron has held qualifications as ADCI Air Diving Supervisor, ADCI Bell/Saturation Diver, ADCI Mixed Gas Diver, and ADCI Air Diver and currently holds IMCA Air Diving Super Visor, IMCA Life Support Technician, IMCA Diving Systems Assurance Auditor as well as DCBC Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diving Supervisor with a Life Support Endorsement DCBC Assessor



Nick Daly - CDA Technical Institute InstructorNick Daly worked as an offshore oilfield diver for 15 years out of Louisiana. Starting as a tender at Stolt Offshore he worked his way up to a class 1 diver and supervisor.

Mr Daly has extensive experience in inland and offshore salvage with Bisso Marine. As a well rounded diver Nick has supervised NDT work all across the Gulf of Mexico.

He has lead dive teams in oil platform demolition, pipeline installation and abandonment, and underwater burning.



Mr. Merchant is a CDA Alumni graduating in January 2004 as the class Valedictorian.  His career has taken him both in-land with Sea-Tech completing Bridge Inspections, Pile Jackets, Salvage, and Ship Husbandry as well as off-shore with Chet Morrison as a Diver 3.  Merchant’s off-shore career included work with “Jet-Sleds,’ setting riser clamps, Sub-Sea Tie-ins, and jetting miles of pipeline.
He began teaching at CDA in 2009 and in 2015 return to active diving and now he’s back on the CDA Team. 
“I am really excited to be back, I know 1st hand how important being well trained is.  Having worked in both in-land and off-shore having the experiences that CDA offers “The CDA Advantage” can really make the difference in the diver’s success.” M. Merchant


Diving for Mr. Hubbard started in 1989 performing snowmobile recoveries in New Hampshire on the surrounding lakes where he grew up. That experience sparked a fire in him to explore diving as a fulltime career.
Over the past 20+ years Mr. Hubbard has worked as a Diver/Dive Supervisor in all aspects of the diving industry; inland, offshore and salvage.  In South Florida he worked various inland jobs, ending up with Resolve Marine Group as salvage Diver/Dive Supervisor.  Some of the larger projects he was involved with were; the sinking of the USS Oriskany (largest artificial reef in the world), DBL 152, Bouchard 105, as well as working as a USCG shipboard firefighting instructor.
After Katrina and Rita, Eric returned to the Gulf of Mexico working as a Diver/Dive Supervisor conducting platform removals, tie-ins, hot taps, harbor clearance and NDT inspections on platforms all over the GOM.
Mr. Hubbard also has experience in performing pipeline penetrations, bridge inspections, and pile jacket projects, removing/installing hurricane damaged pipelines and refueling jetties.
“I believe with my extensive dive history and the diverse skill sets I can help CDA continue their mission to provide the students with the Real World – World Class Dive Training they have come to be known for. The CDA Advantage is real and I am happy to be a part of it.” Says Hubbard


DIVE INSTRUCTOR - JAMIE FRICTONJamie Fricton is originally from Spencer, Iowa.  He started his career in the Army as an infantryman in 1993. In 1996, he joined the Navy and spent the next 20 years as a Navy Diver and achieved the qualification as Mixed Gas and Unlimited Diving Supervisor. Throughout his naval career he was involved in many high profile diving operations such as the salvage of the USS Monitor and multiple wartime deployments. Recently retired from the Navy, Jamie is now a DCBC Unrestricted Surface Supplied Diving Supervisor and the Lead Supervisor at CDA Institute, Deep Water Training Center in Ocala, Florida.




(update in process)




Lincoln Wills enlisted in the US Navy Reserves in 1988 as a combat medic (Hospital Corpsman) and qualified to deploy with the US Marines in 1992. He earned his BS in Biology (1994) and MS in Exercise Science (Physiology) (1996) from Georgia Southern University.
Wills received a direct commission to the US Navy Medical Service Corps in 1997. There he worked as an aviation physiologist (1997), program administrator of the Navy's fitness test (1998-2000), and research physiologist at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU,
He graduated from Commercial Diving Academy in 2005 (Now CDA Technical Institute). Receiving his ADCI Air Diver, NAUI Instructor and AWS Underwater Welding Certification.
Wills has 6 years of Gulf of Mexico off-shore oilfield diving experience.  Work have included laying pipe, burying pipe, pipe-line to platform tie-ins, hot-tap, platform inspections & installation, pipe-line decommissioning and salvage, oil-spill response and pipe-line patch installation. He has 8 days in saturation, and mix-gas dives to 218 fsw. With his medical background, Lincoln has served as a
DMT to divers in need, performing pre- and post-medical assessments and decompression,
2.5 years’ work as a tender, sat-tender and dive-tender, inspecting a TVA dam deep in the Smoky Mountains.
November 2010, Lincoln was awarded Dive Medic Tech (DMT) by the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology (

"Being a CDA Graduate helped me achive the sucess I enjoyed in my career. I bellieve in "The CDA Advantage" it worked for me!" says Wills


Daniel Deutsch graduated from Gulf Coast Commercial Dive School in 1999. Deutsch perused a career off-shore. He worked in the GOM for 4 years before moving back to New York to join the Union.  As a Union Diver, Deutsch was fortunate enough to get a job with the Department of Defense retrieving missiles and satellites for the government on an island called Kwajalein In the middle of the South Pacific. He also assisted in the Bahamas where he retrieved torpedoes that the navy uses for practice on a military installation for PAE on Androse Island.

Before joining the CDA Team he also worked for the Georgia Department of Transportation as well as Florida Department of Transportation doing underwater bridge inspections.
Deutsch believes:  “It’s time to give back. CDA provides students with the real world experiences and an environment that is exactly what they will have to deal with in their career.  There is truth to the saying:  There is a difference… The CDA Advantage and that’s what makes that difference in being successful in this career.”


Gabrielle (Niki)  Bow is originally from Mansfield, Tx. She completed a commercial diving program in 2014 at The Ocean Corporation in Houston, Tx. From there she came to CDA:TI to complete the Emergency Medical Technician, Diver Medic Technician, and Hyperbaric Technician courses. Gabrielle is an NCCER certified instructor, also authorized to train in Basic First Aid, CPR/AED, Wilderness First Aid, Blood-borne Pathogens, and Emergency Oxygen Administration. She is currently the medical supervisor on campus, overseeing sick call and student physicals.