Sub Sea Systems — Our World is a blog dedicated to the unique experiences of Sub Sea Systems — Immerse yourself in our incredible adventures, company culture, and innovative programs and products.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

An Introduction to Sub Sea Systems®

With friends that look like Nemo and Flounder, who wouldn’t want to share the cute little fellas with the world above? It seemed like the only logical thing to do for Sub Sea Systems’ co-founder, Jim Mayfield. He has evolved his passion for the underwater world into a business that incorporates a variety of innovative recreational products and touring activities, as well as an active conservation program.

In 1985, after a couple years in college and an apprenticeship with his inventor father, Mayfield and other business partners founded Sub Sea Systems, Inc. (SSS). The inaugural product line featured submersibles and semi-submersibles of varying sizes designed to dazzle and enlighten tourists of all ages. SSS built the first US constructed commercial vessel that at the time was the first vessel to be purchased in ten years by South Korea. Matt Flynn, director of foreign investment with the State of California Trade and Commerce Agency, stated “South Koreans are big in shipbuilding...the fact that they would import a ship is quite a testament to the quality of work they’re doing at Sub Sea Systems.”

At the end of the nineties, Sub Sea Systems introduced Sea TREK®, a futuristic program thatenables participants to walk underwater
on a fully guided
tour. Although the idea of wearing a seventy-pound helmet may at first sound unappealing, the designers and tech-nicians at SSS were able to work out all the watery kinks and produce an evolved, futuristic version of the original brass diving helmet. The state-of-the-art, injection-molded Sea TREK helmets are placed on the guests’ shoulders as they descend a vertical ladder. As guests become fully submerged in the water, the weight of the helmet becomes just enough to allow guests to comfortably walk along the sea floor. There are no tanks or challenging equipment involved; the helmet is designed for comfort and stability––even when you trek under a sea turtle and gasp! Guests can walk twelve to twenty feet and more under the surface, with a certified staff of Sea TREK Guides and safety personnel.

In 2000, Sub Sea Systems acquired the rights to produce and market the world’s only electrically powered, chaise lounge catamaran–– FunCat. The oversized recliner affixed to two pontoon hulls is powered by remarkably silent electric motors. Two adults can lounge comfortably as the self-maneuverable boat glides easily over the water. The only disruption to the inescapable relaxation of riding the FunCat is deciding who gets to drive! The video game like controllers allow the driver to steer the boat forward, backward, sharp left, sharp right or even in a dizzying full 360º circle. Vacationers can rent FunCats at various destin-ations worldwide; and if a ride is just not enough, the boats are available for purchase too.

In 2007, Mayfield made a cogent step toward connecting the curious tourist with the marine world through collaborative efforts involving Eric Bogden, an extremely well respected marine biologist and marine mammal behaviorist. The two established SHARKS! Interactive, LLC, an interactive program designed to entertain, educate and dispel the misconception about sharks, the most feared predator of the sea. Did you know that you are more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a shark? For those of us who have emotionally survived the reruns of “Jaws,” the idea of commiserating with a gentle nurse shark has merit. That is how SHARKS! came to be; an educational and entertaining encounter with the legends of the sea. Currently operating worldwide, the program has opened the minds of many by holding, touching and exploring with these grand animals.

In the latter part of 2008, Mr. Bogden and Sub Sea Systems collaborated to create the world’s first interactive Sea TREK with dolphins program –– Dolphin TREK®. Dolphin TREK allows guests to experience the dolphin’s world while wearing Sea TREK helmet diving gear. (The dolphins think the guests are pretty funny looking in their astronaut-like helmets!) The duration of the tour is one hour; guests learn to communicate with the majestic animals using hand signals, and observe how they play, jump, dive and make bubbles underwater. While underwater, some guests also receive a dolphin kiss and are escorted back to the entry ladder via dorsal fin!

Sub Sea Systems’ sense of responsibility toward the marine environment, so essential to its success, has lead the company to create Reef Alliance, a program emphasizing conservation awareness, education, and sustainable business practices. Reef Alliance is an ongoing commitment of the company, its licensees and tour operators, the communities they are based in and the guests they bring into the sea. Coral reefs occupy less than one quarter of one percent of the earth’s marine environment, yet they are home to more than a quarter of all known fish species. Participants and communities are educated in how to conserve and respect these thrilling and fragile natural environments. Additionally, Reef Alliance members participate in the annual International Coastal Cleanup (hosted by Ocean Conservancy), and have been responsible for recovering over several thousand pounds of trash and debris from reefs and beaches worldwide.

Sub Sea Systems is an ever evolving, ever reaching marine recreation company; we invite you to join us and explore our world through our stories and photos… and one day, hopefully, through your own experience…