Pioneers and trailblazers of the international scuba diving community will be honored tonight, Friday Oct. 10 at the 2014 Induction Ceremony of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, held at The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa. The event attracts scuba divers from all over the world, who convene honor and to mingle with inductees at the gala event.
The 2014 inductees to the hall of fame are Bill Acker, Dan Orr, Chuck Nicklin, Alese and Morton Pechter and Neal Watson, with Italian underwater combat unit Decima MAS being honored as an Early Pioneer.
International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame
The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame was founded in 2000 by the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism and recognizes those who have had a marked influence on scuba diving in their respective fields, whether it is dive travel, entertainment, art, equipment design and development, education, exploration or diving adventures. Occasionally, an inductee will be chosen for one outstanding achievement.
Previous years have seen Cathy Church, Bob Soto, Ron Kipp and Guy Harvey honored, as well as Jacques and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Each year, local honorees are also recognized, and while this year’s names had not been released at time of press, previous years have seen Captain Marvin Ebanks, Don Foster and Stuart Freeman recognized, as well as numerous others.
Board members and the public nominate inductees, with the final decision lying with the board of directors. The board consists of eight people, including four ex officio members; the minister of tourism, president of Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), president of Cayman National Watersports Association, and an elected representative of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association. The final four representatives are chosen due to their vested interest in the scuba diving community or significant contribution to scuba diving.
Cayman is the natural choice for the headquarters of an organization which honors noteworthy and pioneering members of the international scuba diving community.
“As the Cayman Islands is the birthplace of recreational diving, it only makes sense that the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame would reside here in Cayman,” Acting Director of the Department of Tourism Oneisha Richards said in a press release. “Our dive scene is unparalleled with 365 distinctive experiences around three islands and we are delighted to identify those that continue to draw newcomers to the sport.”
Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell added, “We are honored to recognize such outstanding individuals who have contributed significantly to the international dive community. As scuba diving is intrinsic to Caymanian culture, the Cayman Islands strives to distinguish those who make the sport better for all.”
The 14th annual event will include a cocktail reception from 6-7 p.m., followed by dinner and the induction ceremony. Tickets are $50 and are available from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. A purchase of nine tickets includes a tenth complimentary ticket. Black-tie dress code.
2014 International Inductees and Early Pioneer
- Bill Acker
- Chuck Nicklin
- Dan Orr
- Alese and Morton Pechter
- Neal Watson
- Early Pioneer