Ventura Dive & Sport Staff

The Instructors, Owners and Staff of Ventura Dive & Sport and Raptor Dive Charters welcome you to the wonderful world of California Diving. Whether you are in one of our PADI diving courses or diving on the Raptor you're likely to run into at least one of us. We're here for you, for your diving safety and pleasure, and of course to meet your educational needs. We have a lot of fun doing this for a living and invite you to join us!

Happy Bubbles, and we'll see you in the water!


Jim Smith

James F. Smith started his diving career as a young man growing up in South Dakota in the 1960s, advancing as a diver while attending Iowa State University in the 70s and finally arriving in California in 1985 when he attended the NASDS Instructor’s College in San Diego.
Beginning his professional career as an instructor in San Luis Obispo where he worked for two years, he subsequently headed south to Santa Barbara where he worked in two dive shops over the course of the next three years, gaining valuable experience while teaching courses of all levels from both PADI and NASDS.
Jim made the “big step” in May 1989 when he bought a small dive shop called Ventura SCUBA Schools, which was located in the Ventura Harbor Village. Starting small (it was less than 1000 square feet) but with big aspirations, he worked diligently through the years watching the business grow into what it is today… one of the top-rated dive centers in California. Encompassing nearly 5000 square feet, an on-site pool, state-of-the-art classroom, repair department and rental department, Ventura Dive & Sport added the only missing ingredient in July 2006… the Raptor.
Jim has always kept active as a diver and as a dive instructor, teaching and traveling to all corners of the globe to see what the underwater world holds in store. Reaching the pinnacle of the PADI Professional Pyramid, he became a Course Director in 2002, putting his myriad teaching experiences to good use training instructors through Ventura Dive & Sport.

Scott Shelley

Professional Credentials: PADI Course Director
First Dive: Kihei Maui 1979
Favorite Dive: The Canyon, Dahab Egypt
Best Dive Site Overall Rating: Trinity Caves Grand Cayman (Just a lot of fun and a dive anyone can do.)
Places I've worked and dived: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Grenada, Union Island, Cayman Islands, St, Martin, Martinique, St. Croix, St. John, Tortola, Tobago, San Blas, Egypt, Israel, Italy, France, Spain, and then some.
Favorites: Steak 'n Kidney pie, Diet Coke and those crazy little puff pastries the Israeli's make.
Hobbie: Running, Swimming any water sport, throwing a ball for my cats, yes they fetch.

Jay Reinhart

Professional Credentials: Master Instructor
First Dive: Cave of The Sleeping Shark, Isla Mujeres Mexico, ( Nose to Nose with a Ten foot Tiger Shark)
Favorite Dive: Winfield Scott, Anacapa Island.
Best Dive Site Overall Rating: Manchones Reef Isla Mujeres. Wall dives, drift dives. Amazing amounts of sea life, turtles, rays and sharks.
Places I've worked and dived: Southern California, Channel Islands Ca, Isla Mujeres Mexico, Cancun Mexico.
Favorites: Pizza, Scallops, Sushi, Pasta, Rockstar and Lucky Charms.
Hobbies: Any water sport, golf & most importantly, teaching people how to dive and explore the underwater world.

Lorenzo Murillo

Lorenzo possesses a wide range of professional abilities. He is a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Master SCUBA Diver Trainer, a NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) Technical Diving Instructor, a licensed ADCI (Association of Diving Contractors International) Commercial Diver, a certified Emergency Medical Technician and a Certified Hyperbaric Technologist.
Lorenzo provides all levels of SCUBA instruction and leads specialized courses in closed circuit rebreathers First Aid, CPR, and AED. He has traveled extensively and explored some of the world’s most biologically diverse marine ecosystems. His passion for diving and the responsible exploration of world’s oceans is evident in his ability to inspire that same passion in his students.
Lorenzo has an impeccable safety record in both the underwater diving education and medical hyperbaric communities.
Professional Credentials
PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer: #189087
NAUI Technical Diving Instructor: #51595
SDS Evolution/Inspiration Closed Circuit Rebreather Instructor
Poseidon MKVI/Seven Closed Circuit Rebreather Instructor
ANSI/ACDE 01-2009 Certified Commercial Diver
Emergency Medical Technician
Certified Hyperbaric Technologist

Bill Rhodes


Joe Ricards





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Email: VDSstaff@VenturaDive.com
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