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Posted by Captain Tim on May 21, 2002 at 21:33:32:

My Second, My Friend.

In 1996 when Roy Kaiser and I bought the Great Escape, Roy wanted me to meet a person that he wanted to use as second Captain on the boat. All things were secret in those days, and Dave and I met on my private boat the GE junior. I was of course late for the meeting, and I saw Dave leaning against the rail of the landing. I knew it was him. He was not to thrilled to meet me, who the hell was I, just some kid in his eyes, who knew nothing. This first thing he said to me, as he got on the boat, never take a boat out that moves when you get onboard.
That was our first meeting, but certainly, not the last.
Dave was the second Captain for the Great Escape for 6 years. And he never missed a trip. Some called him "Captain Grumpy", but few new that he was battling a digenative muscle disease that was terminal. He tried to stay out of the way of the passengers, as he knew that he had bad days, with only a few good ones.
Few people know of the time that he helped me save the boat from a sure grounding, or the times when he helped when divers got bent.
Dave was one of the pioneers of the dive industry. He ran many boats in his life. The first 2 were the "Rio Rito" and I think the "Blue Sea". He sold the "Rio Rita" to Roy Kaiser, Roy learned from Dave, and I learned from Roy. That makes me the 3rd generation.
Dave has not escaped sarcasm, or jealousy. Some have accused him of fraud and deceit. Dave never lied to me, or treated me without respect. I can only say to the others, from what he told me. He never intentionally cheated anybody. To try and build a boat and business, only to have it fail is not fraud, perhaps bad judgment, but not fraud.

DAVE MELSON was 76 years old, when he left us. He left on May 12th, Mother's day, in the year of our Lord, Two Thousand And Two.

I will miss Dave.

Captain Tim Burke
Owner/operator Great Escape Charters

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