“Unfortunately we lost one of the true members of the diving community. He had a lot of friends he made through the years,” said Emch, who said Dahan’s friends helped the family remove equipment from the shop after his death, with everyone expecting it to close. “Immediately after the accident, they were talking about closing it, but eventually we all thought the best thing was to keep the shop open and running,” Emch said. “It’s truly an amazing bunch of friends who helped me move things back in. It was nearly empty.” Capt. Steve Giles of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department said Emch has been a member of the department’s volunteer search-and-rescue team as a diver for years. “Mike and I were very close, almost like father and son. He is very much going to be missed,” Giles said. “I’m glad to see his shop is continuing, and that Chris is picking up the gauntlet.” Emch, who is 6 feet 8 inches tall, grew up in Whittier and attended UCLA in the early 1990s, where he played basketball and football. He enjoys all sorts of sports, including hockey, and he is a private airplane pilot. He learned to scuba dive after he graduated from UCLA and worked as a Phoenix police officer. He became a master scuba-diving trainer in the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Emch said he wants to continue setting up scuba-diving trips through the shop, including local trips to the Channel Islands and to exotic locations like Dahan’s favorite diving spot, the South Pacific Republic of Palau. “It seems like everyone who comes in is happy the store is going to remain open,” he said. [email protected] (805) 583-7602160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! THOUSAND OAKS – When Michael Dahan died diving under the ice of a High Sierra lake last month, it was a terrible blow to his friends in Southern California, where Dahan had established a reputation as a dedicated scuba-diving instructor and owner of Channel Islands Scuba. So to honor Dahan, a former co-worker bought the Thousand Oaks business and reopened it last week, just as Dahan would have wanted. “Mike was my mentor,” Chris Emch said. “I thought it would be appropriate to continue on his legacy.” Emch said he is planning a special event for Saturday to give customers a chance to meet the new owner, with sales and a drawing for a free local diving trip. He is selling Mike Dahan memorial T-shirts, with proceeds going to the Dahan Foundation, set up to help his children. Dahan, 41, died during a trip to Gull Lake near Mammoth Mountain. He had been scuba diving since his teens and was proud of his record as a teacher protecting the safety of his students. But authorities said he disregarded one of the basic rules of ice-diving safety – go down only if hooked to a rope attached to someone else on the surface. Without the rope, he became disoriented under 16-inch-thick ice and ran out of air, unable to find the exit hole, police said. It was a shock to Dahan’s friends, who admired him for longtime service to the scuba community, as well as his devotion to his family, including his 3-year-old and 5-week-old daughters.