Dr Pieter Landsberg

On August 2nd 2014, Dr Pieter Landsberg passed away. It was with great sadness that I learned this, as I had known this man, the father and doyen of diving medicine in this country, for over 30 years. He was a doctor with a true passion for underwater and hyperbaric medicine and physiology.

I first met Pieter in 1982, when I enrolled for the diving and submarine medicine course held annually at the naval base in Simon’s Town. It was the only recognised diving course available at the time and he was both a lieutenant commander in the navy and a lecturer at the course. He later took my wife and I for an inland dive at Cinderella dam in Benoni. It was a dreadful dive, with very limited visibility and nothing to see aside from weeds and an old sunken rowing boat. But it was the beginning of a lifetime association in diving medicine. At that time, SAUHMA did not exist. There was no relationship of any kind between doctors living in all the different provinces in South Africa and interested in underwater medicine.

Together with a few other doctors, notably Dr Frans Cronje and Dr Andy Branfield, Pieter used to meet with us from time to time at the Institute for Aviation Medicine near Pretoria. It was here that the concept of a formal diving medical association arose and SAUHMA was born. At that stage, only Gauteng was represented and Pieter was the first president. He was also fiercely concerned in the training of the fire-fighting unit in Benoni and preparing his MD thesis on the physiology of carbon dioxide in breathhold diving. A few years later SAUHMA expanded to include all diving doctors in all provinces as well as the SA Navy.

We have lost the father of our society and we mourn our loss. 
Posted in


Andy Branfield - August 13th, 2014 at 5:41pm

Thank you Allan for your heartfelt words that you have expressed on behalf of all of us. Pieter also trained me in 'Diving and Submarine Medicine' in 1987 and his passion for all things diving related will always remain with me. His entertaining lectures will be long remembered. We also shared a love for the Magaliesberg and the Cape Vultures of Skeerpoort. To his family my condolences. A man who truely was the father figure of diving medicine in South Africa.

daniel gericke - November 11th, 2014 at 6:21pm

Sad news...my condolences to Dr Landsbergs family