Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
Home Contact Me Sydney Reef Dive Sites Sydney Shipwrecks NSW Dive Sites Australian Dive Sites Overseas Dive Sites Dive Accidents and Incidents Our Yachting Adventures 4WD Trips Weather Search 26 April 2017 08:19
Navigation
Home

General
About Me
My Diving
FAQ
Downloads
Web Links - Dive Clubs
St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
Contact Me

Dive Sites
Sydney Reef Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwrecks
NSW Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwreck Summary
NSW Shipwreck GPS/Marks
Australian Dive Sites
Overseas Dive Sites
Aircraft I have Dived
Old Bottles

Dive Related Equipment
Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
Uwatec Aladin Dive Computers
Apollo AV1 Underwater Scooter
Bauer Compressor
DIY Oxygen Stick - Nitrox
GoPro HD Hero Video Camera
My Camera Setup
Purchase of New Dive Boat
Our Dive Boat - Mak Cat
Our Old Dive Boat - Le Scat
My Dive Gear
GPS and Diving
Make Your Own Car Tank Rack

Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
Bare Island Sea Horses
Bare Island Nudibranchs
Bare Island Marine Life
Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

Other Dive Info
How Weather Affects Diving in Sydney
Visibility and Wave Averages in Sydney
Waves and Diving
Diving Weather and Sea Conditions
Tide Tables
Dive Accidents and Incidents
Dive Book Reviews
Site Map
Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
Our Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about our yacht, Catlypso and our Our Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • Our Yachting Adventures.
  • Login
    Username

    Password



    Forgotten your password?
    Request a new one here.
    Michael and Kelly's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of our Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Current Kareela Weather
    A summary of the current weather conditions at our house at Kareela, Sydney, is below. Click here for more Detailed Diving Weather and Conditions. Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station


    Conditions at
    23:49 on 23/1/17

     
    Temperature 25.6°C
    Humidity 65.0%
    Barometer 1003.4hPa
    Rate -0.3hPa/hr
    Wind Speed: 0 km/hr
    Wind Direction S
    Rainfall for Today 0.0mm
    Rainfall last hour 0.0 mm
    Rainfall last 24 hours 0.0 mm
    Rainfall at Start of Month 814.6 mm
    Rainfall this Year 827.0 mm
    Today's Extremes
    High Temperature 31.2°C at 15:48
    Low Temperature 20.9°C at 6:27
    Peak Wind Gust 0km/hr at 0:00
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Kirrawee Weather Station
    Yesterday's Extremes
    High Temperature 27.5°C at 17:11
    Low Temperature 19.8°C at 6:29
    Rainfall at Start of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Rainfall at End of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station
    Astronomical Data
    Sunrise 5:06
    Sunset 19:05
    Moonrise 1:09
    Moonset 15:04

    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Pizza Reef has lots of bastard trumpeters"
    Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Lloyd Bridges
    Lloyd Bridges as Mike Nelson
    Lloyd Bridges as Mike Nelson
    There are few people in this world that I have ever really admired as people. Don Bradman, the cricketing guru who helped Australia recover from the Great Depression, Gough Whitlam, the politician who upon becoming the Prime Minister of Australia in December 1972 released Australia from the rule of conservatives and Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the inventor of scuba and explorer of the oceans are three of my four heros. The final person to make up this quartet was Lloyd Bridges. Why would Bridges, an American television and film actor be a hero to a person who lived so far away in Australia?

    Lloyd Bridges was born on 13 January 1913 in San Leandro, California. His family included entertainers (and even jugglers) but his mother and father did not want him to go into the entertainment business. They wanted him to become a lawyer and so, after school, he entered the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he studied law. Bridges decided to pursue this appointed course and apparently it was not until he studied constitutional law that he changed his mind. He completed his degree but then moved to the East Coast where he started acting in small threatre companies.

    In the 1930s he directed and starred in a modern version of Shakespeare's Othello, playing Iago. He and his wife, Dorothy, also taught drama.

    In 1941 he was signed to a studio contract by Columbia Pictures who used him in supporting roles. He was never a leading star, and I do not recall any film in which he was the main actor. In the 1952 western classic High Noon, Bridges starred opposite Gary Cooper as the deputy sheriff. Despite this role, his star did not climb any higher in films for a long time.

    Bridges was a supporter of radical causes, perhaps that is one of the reasons why I admire him. In the early 1950s, probably 1953, Bridges was called before the Un-American Activities Committee, headed by Senator Joe McCarthy, (many people will recall Arthur Miller's play The Crucible -1953 - which although concerned with the Salem witchcraft trials, was actually aimed at the then widespread congressional investigation of alleged subversive activities in the United States). At the committee's hearings, Bridges was alleged to have been a Communist. Unlike many other film stars called before the committee, Bridges did not recoil from the truth and admitted that he had been a member of the American Communist Party.

    He was offered some roles in the new television industry, and in 1957, the year I was born, he was given the role that was to make his fame, Mike Nelson. As Nelson, a former United States Navy frogman, Bridges travelled the south-eastern part of America and the Carribean as a do-good underwater "sheriff". Sea Hunt introduced millions of people all over the world to the new activity of scuba diving. I was too young to watch Sea Hunt as a first run TV show but in the early 1960s I remember watching his adventures on afternoon TV. Who will ever forget Mike Nelson wrestling with some crook before getting his air hose cut (as a scuba diver I now know that it was the exhaust hose that was cut making a lot of show but no danger). The show ended in 1961 after 156 episodes, not because the ratings decreed it so, but because Bridges attempted to move the show into fighting enviornmental issues. He once stated that "I wanted [the show] to look at the real villians of the sea, like the oil companies". He refused to be compromised and the producers of the show refused to change (they wanted more of the same) so Bridges quit the show.

    For a long time after this, Bridges was typecast as the adventurer Mike Nelson. He was later to comment that he thought he could play Hamlet better than Richard Burton, do Othello better than Jose Ferrier but of course no-one was ever going to offer him these roles now. "The public seems to think of me as being under water" he said. On another occasion he said "If we could just get some way to do Hamlet underwater, I'd be happy."

    After Sea Hunt he did the Lloyd Bridges Show (I have never heard of this before) and then had a few lean years before doing Joe Forrester (a cop - 1976 - not too bad a show). In the 1980 comedy classic Flying High (overseas Airplane) and its follow up Flying High Two (Airplane 2), he played the chief air traffic controller who was seemingly addicted to every possible vice. Bridges stole the show, with his "I picked a bad day to give up...." lines going into 1980s vernacular.

    Lloyd Bridges had seemingly a perfect family life, married to the same woman for almost 60 years, two sons who also became very well known actors (Beau and Jeff) and, I think, a daughter. His sons not only appeared as kids in Sea Hunt, they acted in a number of movies with their father in the 1980s and 1990s.

    I learnt of the death of Lloyd Bridges on 11 March 1998 (he died on 10 March American time) while visiting my parents when my younger brother came out of his room having just heard on the radio that he had died. Like the deaths of Elvis and John Lennon, I will always remember where I was when I heard of Bridges' death.

    Right till the end, Bridges had kept working, even though he was now 85 years old. He appeared in a couple of episodes of Seinfield (made in 1997), the most recent one only aired in Australia a couple of weeks after his death. An episode of Seinfield, one of the last made, was dedicated to "...our friend Lloyd Bridges". There are two movies that he finished recently that are still to be released. One, Mafia, will start in Sydney in mid-August 1998.

    Some of us who watched Sea Hunt were so thrilled by Mike Nelson's exploits that we eventually took up scuba diving. The scuba industry recognised Lloyd Bridges' contribution to promoting scuba diving that he was elected to the scuba Hall of Fame a few years back.

    For the past couple of years I have been suggesting to Barry Andewartha and Belinda Barnes (of DIVE Log and Sportdiving) that they should invite Bridges to Australia to be the key speaker at their successful A Night to Remember nights. Unfortunately, this did not occur.

    We as divers will be the poorer for the passing of Lloyd Bridges.

    Note: Copies of Sea Hunt are available on the Net. Use this link to get to the site.

    POSTSCRIPT:
    An email received by me recently:

    Hello

    I just wanted to let you know that I too am a fan of Mr. Lloyd Bridges and that the world lost a great hero when he passed away.

    I happen to own the boat that Lloyd Bridges used as Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt. The boat was and still is called the "Argonaut" and is located in San Diego, Ca.

    I am curently restoring the boat and will be complete by summer 99". At that point the boat will make many special appearances and will be featured in many publications, I can't wait.

    I just wanted to say hi and to let you know that you are one of millions of Lloyd Bridges fans and as soon as I get the boat going I will create a place that all Sea Hunt fans to gather. I soon will post a site on the resoration of the boat and will continue this site to be used as a fan club.

    This is WM-2050 the Argonaut out...

    Andy

    Sea Hunt Adventures presents,
    "The Argonaut"
    1514 Seventh Ave. Suite 205
    San Diego, Ca. 92101
    Ph: 619-294-4160
    Fax: 619-595-0153
    Email: The Argonaut

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2017
    Non-commercial use of an article or photograph is permitted with appropriate URL reference to this site.
    Dive shops, dive operators, publications and government departments cannot use anything without first seeking and receiving approval from Michael McFadyen.
    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded by Michael McFadyen
    without any help from the Australian Dive Industry since 1996!