Stingray winner delighted with award

Allied Employee of the Year Andrew White is happy in his work with Atlantis Adventures (Cayman). The Jamaican is a qualified dive instructor, but it is on the submarine tours he is making, well, a splash.

“I narrate on the submarine and presently am in training to become a pilot,” he said. “I am a dive instructor back home in Jamaica, was overseas and applied for a job online. It is a cool job.

“Normally in diving you need to be mentally and physically fit but to go in a submarine you don’t,” Mr. White said. “As long as you can get downstairs you are ready to go. You’re dry, you don’t need to worry about any pressure or equalising your ears as we are at one atmosphere of pressure even down to 100 feet.”

Meeting new people every day from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds is a lot of fun, he said, adding actor Chuck Norris had previously chartered the submarine for friends and family. Mr. White has now been working with Atlantis for five years and said he is learning a lot from the experience.

“The information you learn from folks broadens your knowledge as well as the research and being a naturalist. We see turtle, sometimes manta rays, sharks, octopus – just about everything you can think about in the Caribbean Sea,” he said. “Some folks have gone diving but never gone over the wall and uniquely there’s a drop-off which we show people and that experience blows their mind away. As a scuba diver, being in 100 feet of water has a maximum of 20 minutes, but we can stay down for 45 minutes – we don’t need to worry about pressure at depth, all we need to do is give them their money’s worth and more, so they come back. If you do not treat tourists good they will not come back.”

Mr. White, a St. Anne native, first qualified as a dive instructor in 2002 and then became a master scuba diver trainer. He said he learns from students and when people make mistakes he understands a little more about how to deal with different weaknesses, which helps him do his job better.

“If you make it fun then eventually it becomes interesting to you and it makes your job exciting,” he said.

One day, the award winner said, he would like to pursue learning more languages and may go to Curacao and work there. Ultimately, he would like to build apartments to rent them out to tourists. Mr. White has learned a lot from his experiences, he said.

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