Scuba equipment repair business opens in Harlem

Scuba equipment repair business opens in Harlem

From left, Robert Bennett, Rose Bennett, Emmy Stratton and Fred Stratton attend the ribbon-cutting and grand opening event for their business Hydro Sharks, which services scuba tanks and gear, in Harlem on Saturday. [ERIKA WELLS/THE COLUMBIA COUNTY NEWS-TIMES]

Erika Wells @Erika_CCNT_AUG

Scuba diving enthusiasts in the Central Savannah River Area have a new option for fixing the equipment they need to explore underwater.

Hydro Sharks specializes in servicing scuba tanks that divers use for breathing and other gear. One of the most popular services includes hydrostatic testing, which involves evaluating the tank’s pressure and checking for leaks. A ribbon-cutting and grand opening event was held at its location at 119 New St. on Saturday.

Co-owner Fred Stratton said there was a need for the business because scuba diving has grown in popularity among residents in the area.

“It’s an underserved market,” Stratton said. “Hydro Sharks was formed to serve those divers and reduce the time that they have to wait to have their [gear] repaired.”

The turnaround time for scuba tank maintenance is usually about 10 business days depending on whether parts need to be ordered. Previously, local divers would have to wait four to six weeks for testing, he said.

Stratton, who is a longtime diver as well as an instructor, got involved in repairs to help the dive shop where he previously worked. Although he stressed the importance of preventative care, he said he can work on equipment in all conditions. The company also partners with Bubbles or Not, a nearby full-service dive shop.

“I became fascinated by how these small devices can keep you alive underwater and let you discover the beauty of the ocean or other aquatic areas,” he said. “We can fix just about anything if parts are still available.”

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