Scuba Hall of Fame announces 2018 honorees

Jessica Pasquarelli lost her wedding ring while diving at the USS Kittiwake wreck this week.

The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame announced on Thursday the cohort of Hall of Fame inductees for 2018.

The inductees will be Stephen Frink, Dick Rutkowski, Dr. H.S. Batuna, Wulf Koehler and Boris Porotov. Captain Phillipe Tailliez will also be honored posthumously with the 2018 Early Pioneer Award.

Mr. Frink, a photographer in the U.S., is being honored for promoting the Florida Keys diving product.

“He has promoted the destination through seminars at trade shows, articles and photos,” stated the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame’s announcement. “He has constantly given his time and talents to convincing county, state and federal officials of the importance of the Keys reef systems.”

U.S. dive trainer Mr. Rutkowski is being inducted for helping popularize the use of nitrox among sport divers. He also helped standardize and expand hyperbaric chamber training through his Florida-based operation Hyperbarics International, which he still operates.

Dr. Batuna, a medical doctor and diver, will be honored posthumously for helping develop recreational diving in his home country of Indonesia.

“Dr. Batuna’s vision resulted in the encouragement of other resorts to be formed in the region, which generated sustainable jobs,” the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame stated in its announcement.

A German diver, scientist, inventor, photographer and writer, Mr. Koehler will be honored for a variety of achievements, including instructing underwater photographers and manufacturing underwater camera housings.

“To add to the list of his successes, Wulf has dived in almost every ocean of this planet,” the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame stated.

Mr. Porotov, from Kazakhstan, will be honored for being a world-class dive instructor who trained the former Soviet Navy’s special underwater forces, as well as a number of students who set world records in competitive scuba diving contests.

According to the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, he became such a good instructor in part because he had to teach himself to dive in the 1960s Soviet Union, when no manufactured equipment or instruction material of any kind was available.

Mr. Tailliez will receive posthumously the Early Pioneer Award for helping “lay the foundation for the sport of recreational scuba diving,” the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame stated.

He was a French naval officer who also authored several books on diving.

In the weeks leading up to induction ceremonies, the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame also typically announces people from the Cayman diving industry who will be local honorees. Next year’s induction ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 14, 2018.

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