Tourism group donates to hyperbaric chamber

Cayman’s water sports tourism industry has donated $1,000 to help fund the hyperbaric chamber. 

Because of the thousands of divers who visit the three Cayman Islands each year to explore the coral reefs and observe the diverse marine life found beneath the waves, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and its water sports members take diver safety and training seriously, said Jane van der Bol, executive director for tourism association.  

Ensuring that divers in the Cayman Islands have high quality, reputable operators with whom they can dive, as well as trained personnel who can respond appropriately in an emergency scenario is critical to offering a reliable dive tourism product. Part of that is the presence of a hyperbaric chamber, which is a service offered by local company Cayman Hyperbaric Services. 

The tourism association presented a check for $1,000 to Cayman Hyperbaric Services to provide new training materials for their information library and assist with further training so qualified team members could be on hand in the event that a diver needed to use the chamber’s services. The money was part of the proceeds from the International Underwater Film Festival, which took place in November 2012.  

“We are very pleased to be able to offer this donation to Cayman Hyperbaric Services,” Ms van der Bol said. “Supporting efforts that make Cayman a top dive destination – both because of the beauty of the underwater experience, as well as the confidence tourists have in the safety of our dive products – is what we work towards by hosting events such as the Underwater Film Festival.” 

John Elliott, the representative from Cayman Hyperbaric Services who received the donation, said: “We have been in the Cayman Islands for 40 years, offering a vital service for dive emergencies. This donation from CITA will allow us to update our library of information both in Grand Cayman and for our chamber in Cayman Brac.” 

While CITA hopes that no one has to visit the hyperbaric chamber while visiting Cayman, it is assuring to know they are there with trained personnel to assist in the unlikely event that a diver would require their services. 

Cayman Hyperbaric Services operates in conjunction with Diver’s Alert Network (DAN), an organisation which promotes diver safety. In addition to supporting hyperbaric services, where divers who develop decompression sickness while diving go for treatment, DAN also has done much with lionfish safety in 2012, putting a public awareness campaign together to promote what one should do in the event of a lionfish sting.