Our History



Over the past 30 years, hundreds of SNUBA Guides, staff members, boat operators and resort owners have worked tirelessly everyday to make the underwater world available to everyone, young and old. Millions have had their life changed by experiencing what lies beneath the ocean’s surface.


The idea for SNUBA was conceived in 1985 by Michael Stafford, then a ski shop owner located in the small mountain community of Soda Springs, California. Having spent many years traveling, snorkeling and scuba diving, Michael recognized a vast gap between the number of people snorkeling and the number of people scuba diving.

He believed there was an opportunity to develop this market. The word SNUBA popped into his mind immediately. SNUBA captured the essence of the intermediate step between snorkeling and scuba diving.


Michael reached out to his twin brother Patrick asking for advice on how to further this effort.

Patrick, then the Founder, President and CEO of Sea Shuttle Systems, had been working on developing submarines for tourism. He felt there was a strong connection between the two business models and offered to have Michael move into his offices and work on SNUBA.

Patrick’s guidance and support were the initial building blocks of SNUBA International. Funded by Friends and Family the project began to develop. Patents and Trademarks added credibility and a new business market was developed. That was over thirty years ago.


There are so many to thank for their support and belief that have made SNUBA a worldwide success. Hundreds of SNUBA Guides, boat operators, resort owners, and our incredible SNUBA staff members work tirelessly every day to make the underwater world available to everyone, young and old. Millions to date have had their life changed by experiencing what lies beneath the ocean surface.

Knowledge and awareness is key to the preservation of our oceans. The more we see the impact we have on this planet the sooner we will reverse the current direction. We are running out of time. SNUBA has for many years supported various organizations focused on the environment. It is our duty to incorporate environmental education into everything we say and do. We cannot say it enough, cannot stress it enough, the importance of reversing the damage we have caused to the air we breathe, the water we drink and the planet we depend on for our survival.


A loving father, brother and friend to so many.

A tireless leader, without your guidance, your support and belief, SNUBA would have remained a dream.

So many people around the world came to you with their ideas, their hopes and aspirations. You embraced them unconditionally, enthusiastically, making their dreams come true.

The world lost a true friend.