The Ministry and Department of Tourism are searching for a few local legends in the dive community.

Officials are on the lookout for potential Cayman-based honorees for the 2018 International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, and that includes people under the age of 35 who may fit the billing of an Emerging Honoree.

The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame was founded in 2000 by the Ministry of Tourism, and it seeks to recognize people who have made outstanding contributions to the scuba diving industry.

“As a destination built on the foundations of our maritime heritage, we are exceedingly proud each year to recognize those in our community who have played a role in the Cayman Islands being recognized as one of the best dive locations in the world,” said Minister of Tourism Moses Kirkconnell in a press release. “I encourage everyone in the community to put forward nominations for persons who have helped develop this unique building block of our tourism industry.”

Potential honorees must have made a contribution to diving in Cayman through development, promotion, positive environmental impact or education. People can nominate favorites by visiting the website, and the deadline for submissions is Aug. 8.

International inductees to the hall of fame this year include American photographer Stephen Frink, who is also publisher of DAN Alert Diver magazine and website; American Dick Rutkowski, who helped popularize the use of Nitrox and standardized hyperbaric chamber training; H.S. Batuna who is receiving posthumous honors for pioneering sustainable tourism in his native Indonesia and helping set up the Bunaken Marine Park; German scientist and inventor Wulf Koehler who is being honored for his underwater camera housings and his role in building the GEO research dive vessel; Kazakhstan’s Boris Porotov who produced scuba films for the Soviet Union and trained Soviet special underwater forces; and Captain Philippe Tailliez, credited with introducing Jacques Cousteau to free diving, who is being honored posthumously as an early pioneer award winner.

The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame gala awards dinner takes place on Friday, Sept. 14, 2018.

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