SACTO Team Image
Location of Interview
Collection Name

Cordell Expeditions


This is a compilation of oral history interviews with core team members of Cordell Expeditions, the team of divers that pioneered exploration of Cordell Bank in the late   1970s and 1980s. These individuals' efforts were instrumental in the discovery of Cordell Bank's biological richness, its nomination and designation as a National Marine Sanctuary. The extraordinary biodiversity of this special place was recognized in 1989, when Congress designated Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary.    Today sanctuary staff work to protect the Cordell Bank region through research, regulations, and education. Interviews were conducted with Cordell Expeditions 'core team' members (those that were significantly involved in   the expedition from the beginning to end).

Date of Interview
Biographical Sketch

The Sacto Team is a group of divers who have joined forces with Cordell Expeditions, a renowned expedition company specializing in underwater exploration and adventure. The team comprises experienced divers who share a passion for discovering and documenting the mysteries of the underwater world. Together with Cordell Expeditions, the Sacto Team embarks on various expeditions to explore submerged caves, shipwrecks, and other fascinating underwater sites. Their missions involve conducting scientific research, mapping unexplored areas, and capturing stunning visual and video footage of the marine environment. With Cordell Expeditions' expertise in expedition planning, logistics, and safety, the Sacto Team can focus on their diving expertise and exploration goals. The team members work closely with marine biologists, archeologists, and other experts to gather data and contribute to scientific knowledge. The partnership between the Sacto Team and Cordell Expeditions enables them to undertake ambitious and challenging underwater expeditions while ensuring the highest level of safety and professionalism. Through their joint efforts, they strive to promote awareness and conservation of marine ecosystems and share the wonders of the underwater world with the public through various media platforms

Scope and Content Note
Dewey Livingston, a contractor with Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, conducted an oral history interview with five members of the Sacto Team who participated in historic dives on Cordell Bank in the early 1980s. This interview captures the stories of the SACTO team. A group of divers that were a part of the Cordell Expeditions team from Sacramento, but were fondly referred to as the "Sacto Team." These individuals are: Steve Williamson, Dave Cassotta, John Walton, Dave Walls, and Jerry Seawell. The interview focused on their backgrounds, diving experiences, and involvement with Cordell Expeditions. The Sacto Team consisted of experienced and competent divers who played a crucial role in the expeditions. They had a deep understanding of each other's abilities and worked seamlessly underwater. The team members also contributed to transportation, maintenance, and preparation of boats and equipment. They were dedicated and worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the expedition. They had concerns about inexperienced divers and took responsibility for their safety. The interview captures their unique experiences and observations during dives on Cordell Bank, including encounters with marine life and challenges like strong currents. The Sacto Team also developed tools and conducted scientific measurements during their dives. They recognized the importance of protecting Cordell Bank and its marine life, and they were proud to be part of the expedition and the establishment of the national marine sanctuary.

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