The origins of the Underwater Archaeological Society of British Columbia go back to 1975, when a group of divers took a continuing education course in underwater archaeology at the University of British Columbia. At the conclusion of their course they wanted to put their new-found knowledge to work, so they founded the UASBC, incorporated the name, and the rest is history.

The UASBC began work in 1977 surveying two 19th century sailing ship wrecks - the Panther and Zephyr in the Gulf Islands. In 1982, we began an ongoing program of regional shipwreck surveys. The surveys evaluate historic wrecks in specific areas of BC, assess their current conditions and recommend actions to ensure their protection. Since the early 1980s the UASBC has completed nine regional surveys and five special projects.

The UASBC organized its first highly successful “Shipwrecks” conference in 1986 and it is an annual tradition to this day. The UASBC presented its first search and survey training in 1986. In 1995 we received training from, and began offering, the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) training scheme as a way to provide our members with an internationally recognized certification.