In 1964, Lavanchy became the exclusive agent of the diving equipment La Spirotechnique in Switzerland, on the heels of seeing Jaques Cousteau’s film, “Le Monde Sans Soleil.”
These events helped to launch him into the diving world.
Lavanchy was active in Glaukos, the oldest diving club in Switzerland, serving throughout the years as Vice President, President, Secretary, Head of the technical committee. He was the Club’s delegate in the Swiss Diving Federation, worked in the Technical Commission and attended most of the CMAS General Assemblies. Lavanchy was a fervent supporter of simplicity and safety in teaching methods, and supported the development of the CMAS Scientific Commission.
Through various business ventures that promoted diving throughout Europe, Lavanchy launched the Professional Association of Diving Instructors’ (PADI) European licensee, PADI Europe, and the PADI European (instructor) College. In 1996, in his support for the underwater environment, he launched Project A.W.A.R.E. (Aquatic World Awareness Responsibility and Education) Foundation Europe, forming one of Europe’s most active and influential marine environmental organizations.