Scuba Diving Hall of Fame Induction Dinner | Cayman Islands | Oct 2 2015
The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame began in 2001. Recognising people who have contributed to the sport of scuba diving though innovation, increased accessibility or promotion of the sport itself.

Bill High

Bill High began diving in 1955 and has maintained a constant involvement with the many facets of underwater science, diver equipment, education and training. He has certified thousands of students into the scuba diving world since he became a NAUI Instructor in 1961. He is a major contributor to each edition of the NOAA Diving Manual. He has published 5 editions of the book Inspecting Cylinders, which is recognized as the authority on high pressure cylinder inspection. He is also credited with developing standards for scuba cylinder inspection and safety. Mr. High now has the recognition of the ISDHF to go along with his three NOGI awards.
Dr. Albert José Jones

For over 50 years, Dr. José Jones has been training people to Scuba Dive. He started his own club, the Underwater Adventure Seekers, in 1959, because he was finding that the existing clubs at the time were reluctant to admit and train potential black divers. Since then, he has been directly responsible for the development of many Dive clubs including the National Association of Black Scuba Divers with more than fifty branches worldwide. He continues to motivate and introduce students with his passion for marine science, environmental science and the career opportunities in these fields. The ISDHF recognizes Dr. Jones’s overwhelming commitment to promoting the sport of scuba diving across the world.
Peter Hughes

Peter HughesThe name Peters Hughes in the diving industry is considered legendary and synonymous with Live-Aboard diving. He is considered one of the first instructors to teach Scuba Diving in the Caribbean. He helped develop some of the pioneering Diver Resorts like Anthony’s Key and Dive Bonaire which led to him becoming the Vice President of Divi Resorts. It was a natural transition to the live-aboard market for him when he started the Dancer Fleet, a field he still is active in today. For his almost 3 decades of promoting the sport of scuba via live-aboard diving, the ISDHF is proud to welcome him as a member.
Wally Muller

Wally MullerCaptain Wally Muller was a long-time fisherman, who explored reefs in the Swain sector of the Great Barrier Reef and the distant oceanic Coral Sea atolls which other captains avoided. Many of those areas were uncharted, and considered too dangerous to enter. Captain Wally Muller single-handedly established and developed the entire live-aboard industry in Australia’s outer Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Wally Muller helped the careers of many underwater cameramen during shark filming expeditions. International dive companies had almost booked-out Coralita during the late 1970’s. Marine photographers Irvin Rockman, Al Giddings (Titanic; The Deep) Jack McKenney (Sharks Treasure), Ron Taylor (Taylor’s Innerspace and many others) made use of Wally’s expertise in visiting remote, clear water shark habitats. The ISDHF proudly highlights the exploring nature of Captain Muller.
Dimitri Rebikoff

Dimitri Rebikoff - International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame InducteeDimitri Rebikoff developed and manufactured the first portable electronic under water flash in 1947. He also developed and constructed the first underwater scooters (1952 the Torpille, and later the Pegasus) and first remotely operated vehicle (ROV). He was also an active member of the first recreational aqualung diving club (Club Alpin Sous Marin), developed under water camera’s for Jacques Cousteau and other pioneer divers. He wrote several books and articles over the years including Exploration Underwater (Exploration Sous-Marin) in 1952, a year before Cousteau’s The Silent World. Eventually moved to the USA and worked on various secret projects for the US Navy. Mr. Rebikoff’s innovative ways are proudly celebrated by the ISDHF.
Alese and Mort Pechter

Alese and Mort PechterAlese & Mort Pechter worked for many reaching out to the general public with their unique brand of photography and philosophy, creating awareness the beauty of the underwater world, and of recreational diving as a means to see that beauty.

Perhaps most often seen as photographers at DEMA Show (having been the official DEMA Show photographers for dozens of years!), their efforts have gone beyond just being a “job.” Diving, the diving industry and the people in the diving industry have been their passion. Their contact with the mass media has helped to change the image of the diving industry from "macho" to an accepted family recreational sport. In doing so, they have expanded the visibility of the diving industry, creating an opportunity for kids and adults to see this world through their eyes, while encouraging those potential divers to get out and try diving.

The Pechters have traveled the globe and spent many years documenting the underwater experience in the Cayman Islands… photographing, writing and lecturing, passing the word along about the world of SCUBA. Scientists and writers, as well as media personnel, have been the beneficiaries of their excellent photographs. The Pechters were responsible for photographs that changed the face of diving in the media; imagery of the Cayman Islands and other exotic locales that accompanied the articles written by international journalists in publications worldwide – and importantly, articles that reached outside of the diving community, to bring diving to the public at large.

Their underwater photographic library is a veritable history of the diving world and international SCUBA sites.

The Pechters have dedicated thousands of hours to teaching children about the underwater world. They entertain, visiting school children and with adult groups to promote ocean conservation. The Pechters’ children's book, What's In The Deep has received public and critical acclaim and was chosen a Public Broadcast System “Reading Rainbow” selection. It was the first ocean-oriented book directed toward young children that used actual photographs of the underwater world, rather than illustrations of imaginary critters. What's In The Deep? has become a science text in libraries and classrooms throughout the country.

During their careers Alese and Mort have been contributors to the first newspaper for divers, Underwater USA, and periodicals Caribbean Travel & Life, Dive Training and Sport Diver. Several of their underwater photos were selected by the Chinese government to be part of a special art show touring that country.

Ardent marine ecology advocates and always conscious of the fact that children who snorkel may one day become SCUBA divers, the Pechters have been ardent promoters diving as a family activity. Their promotion of snorkeling as an active, family recreational sport has encouraged the conservation & ecological spirit of the individual.

The Pechters have been elected Fellow National members in the prestigious Explorers Club for their contribution to scientific knowledge in the field of geographical exploration, Life members of the National Marine Educators Association, the Historical Divers Association and are also members of the Oceanography Society. Alese was elected a charter member of the Internationally-recognized Women Divers Hall of Fame.

Mort and Alese have promoted diving whenever and wherever they could, including involving themselves voluntarily in a variety of television productions, among them a special television production about sea and space, featuring Michael Collins, the command module pilot for Apollo 11, the NASA mission landing the first man on the moon. Their photos and articles have appeared in general interest magazines and newspapers throughout the world and their multi-media presentations and seminars on ecology, marine biology, land and underwater photography, travel and on the creation of multi-media shows, have captivated audiences at museums, schools, and universities throughout the world.

Their photographs have also drawn attention to the underwater world through several prestigious art gallery shows, and are part of the permanent collections of the Long Island Science Museum, Florida Atlantic University and Adelphi University. They were active founding members of the Long Island Science Museum having carried the title of Administrative Vice President of the museum for several years.

Among their many awards, Alese & Morton Pechter have been honored by the United Nations Environment Programme and recognized by the US Navy as Honorary Deep Sea Divers. They were honored by the South Florida Police Search & Rescue Teams, were selected as the 1996 Photojournalists of the Year and been awarded the 2003 NOGI for Distinguished Service.

The Pechters have the unique ability to instill in others the same excitement and enthusiasm for life's wonders that they have. Their obvious delight for the world beneath the sea is nurtured by their deep commitment to conservation and preservation of the underwater wilderness.
Bill Acker

Bill AckerBill Acker is the owner of Yap Divers and Manta Ray Bay Hotel, in Micronesia in the South Pacific. Bill first came to this paradise in 1976 from Austin, Texas, as a Peace Corps Volunteer. He moved to Hawaii after spending two years on Yap, but returned at the behest of friends and family in Yap, staying for 13 years while running the WAAB transportation Company and along the way, learning to dive.

Like so many of us in the diving industry, Bill turned his hobby into a career, opening Yap Divers, Yap’s first dive store, conceived in the fall of 1985 and opened by summer of 1986.

With guidance from the late Paul Tzimoulis, (Inductee into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame), Bill developed dives with manta rays, turning Yap into one of the top international dive tourist destinations. His dedication to this sport and to the lifestyle it inspires can be seen in his constant attention to detail and his presence at the operations 7 days a week. There, he is ready to help with diving, photography, fishing or just relaxing on the back deck. As a family owned and operated dive resort, you can be sure that your satisfaction is taken very seriously and that the "boss" is around to help you in the event assistance is required.

One of the most important results of Bill Acker’s activities has been the effect he and Yap Divers/Manta Ray Bay Hotel have had on the local economy. Not only have the local people benefitted from the revenues of Manta Ray Bay, but Yap’s growing reputation has attracted all kinds of development into what is still a rather small community.
Dan Orr

Dan OrrDan Orr, most recently the President Emeritus of the Divers Alert Network (DAN) Foundation and formerly the CEO of DAN, has been involved in the diving industry for more than 40 years.

Dan has a long history of service to his country and to the diving industry. Dan was born in South Florida and was in and around water all of his life. As an adolescent he first tried diving in Biscayne Bay and was hooked. Dan first became a certified diver in 1964, and after a stint in the Navy, which included being an Air-Rescue Swimmer, he became a SCUBA instructor and taught his first course in 1972. During that time Dan started and headed up the Wright State University (Ohio) Scuba Program where he stayed until 1988, having developed it into one of the largest university diving programs in the US. Along the way, Dan “immersed” himself in water safety and rescue programs, developing and learning techniques and bringing them to the diving community worldwide.

In the early 1980s Dan became involved with the newly-formed Divers Alert Network, ads a Regional Volunteer Coordinator and Instructor. In 1988 Florida State University in Tallahassee recruited Dan to be the Associate Diving Officer. In 1991, Dan became the Training Coordinator for Divers Alert Network, responsible for developing and implementing DAN training programs including the internationally successful DAN Oxygen First Aid Course.

Dan has authored and contributed to many books and magazine articles including co-author of Scuba Diving Safety and DAN's Pocket Guide for Diving Safety series. He has been a featured speaker at Beneath the Sea, Our World-Underwater, Underwater Canada, Divescapes, Boston Sea Rovers, International Conference on Underwater Education, SeaSpace, Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) and many others. He has also been the recipient of many awards for diving safety including Diver of the Year from Beneath the Sea, the Leonard Greenstone Award for Diving Safety, the NOGI Award from the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences, the Our World-Underwater Award and DEMA’s “Reaching Out” Award. Dan has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame for Divers with Disabilities.

Dan continues to serve the industry in many ways including being a recent member of the DEMA Board of Directors as well as Chairman of the Board of Directors (and Past President) of the Historical Diving Society (USA), and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences.
Chuck Nicklin

Chuck NicklinSometime in the middle 1950’s Chuck Nicklin was bitten by the diving bug. Living in San Diego CA, one of the premier US locations for the early diving industry, he became involved with early pioneers of diving living nearby, including Hall of Fame inductees Ron Church, Dr. Andreas Rechnitzer, and other diving notables.

In 1959 Chuck and several of these local diving enthusiasts and diving scientists from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, opened The Dive Locker in San Diego – one of the earliest dive stores in California. Along with running the retail business, Chuck learned underwater photography from Ron Church and in the 1960’s and 70’s, his photo and film work gradually eclipsed his income from the retail business. As his expertise grew this allowed him to shoot catalogs, photograph for magazines and eventually become involved in film for major motion pictures such as The Deep, For Your Eyes Only, The Abyss, and Never Say Never Again.

Over the years Chuck has been the mentor to many people, including his own son Flip, a famous photographer and filmmaker in his own right, well-known IMAX filmmakers (and ISDHF Inductees) Howard and Michele Hall, and world famous photographer Marty Snyderman.

Always teaching and encouraging to so many who are learning, Chuck now travels the world and shares what he knows and his passion for the underwater world. Along with his wife Roz, these days Chuck uses video to capture that underwater world.
Neal Watson

Neal WatsonNeal Watson began diving in the Springs of Northern Florida in 1953 at the age of 13 and has been in the diving business for over 45 years.

Over his varied career as an entrepreneur Neal has worked as a commercial diver, treasure salver, stunt coordinator for the movie and TV industry, has owned and operated hotels, owned an airline charter company and established one of the few successful diving-related franchise operations in the Bahamas and Caribbean; Neal Watson's Undersea Adventures.

Neal gives of his time generously, and has held volunteer positions with Board of Directors for the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), the Fort Lauderdale Florida Chamber of Commerce, and served for many years as President of the Bahamas Diving Association.

Neal's underwater achievements are legendary. He holds several Guinness World Records, including the compressed air diving depth record where he descended to 437 feet off Bimini. He recorded another milestone by swimming 66 miles underwater non-stop without surfacing in 19 ½ hours from the Florida Keys to Miami. That last event landed him a spot on the television show, To Tell the Truth!

In the world of motion pictures Neal has worked as a stuntman, and appeared in various television shows, including ABC’s 20/20, Inside Edition and The Today Show. Neal has also been featured in many magazine and newspaper articles including People Magazine and Outside Magazine, for his straightforward and frank personality, as much for his world records and exploits in shark diving. Neal generously gives back to the industry in so many ways, not the least of which includes reaching into the diving community to promote diving. Neal’s efforts include producing the annual “Ocean Fest,” the only seaside consumer dive show in the United States, held for13 years in Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Promoting diving and making a difference for the industry, Neal has worked with numerous celebrities. He taught Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York to dive and hand feed sharks for an ABC Special working for and with his longtime friend, Jean-Michel Cousteau.
Bert Kilbride

Bert KilbrideHerbert "Bert" Kilbride was born March 8,1914 in Springfield MA. His Mother taught him to swim at an early age, in fact he couldn't remember a time he couldn't swim. His mother made him a dive mask when he was only 8 years.

Bert moved to South Florida in 1945 and was in the construction business. He moved to St. Croix, USVI, in 1956 and then he moved to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in1964, living there until 2005.

He was an inventor, a builder, a contractor, and an entrepreneur. He had bought and developed two barren islands and owned a SCUBA diving tour business for 30 years.

In the 1960's he created the "Resort Course" for the beginners interested in SCUBA diving. It is now taught worldwide under the name "Introductory SCUBA Course." In 1987 he was awarded the New Orleans Grand Isle (NOGI) Award for SPORTS/EDUCATION for the creation of the resort course.

He was made the "Receiver of Wrecks" by Queen Elizabeth in 1967 and called a "Pirate" by others in the BVI Government when he would not produce a map of the shipwrecks he had found on Anegada Reef (138 wrecks). In the 1990's, the governor of the BVI called him a "Living Legend" in his speech on the radio. In 2004, for his 90th birthday, Guinness Book of World Records proclaimed him the "Oldest Scuba Diver" in the world. He died in Etna, California on January 8, 2008.
Guy Harvey

Guy HarveyDr. Guy Harvey is a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist and explorer, fiercely devoted to his family and his love of the sea. His childhood passion for the ocean and its living creatures not only inspired him to draw, but fueled a burning interest that prompted a formal education in marine science.

Having graduated with honors in Marine Biology from Aberdeen University in Scotland in 1977, Guy returned home to Jamaica to resume his education, earning his Ph.D. from the University of the West Indies in 1984.

Though he gave up a budding career as a marine biologist for that of an acclaimed artist, Guy continues his relentless pursuit to unravel the mysteries of the sea, traveling the world to better understand the habits and habitats of the marine wildlife he paints.

Along the way, Guy became an ardent conservationist, supporting "catch-and- release" fishing ethics, collaborating with Nova Southeastern University in Dania Beach, FL, to form the Guy Harvey Research Institute, and working with many organizations to help manage and protect fishery resources around the world. Guy is an avid scuba diver and skilled underwater photographer and cinematographer, pioneering techniques used to photograph and film free swimming billfish.

In addition, Guy's talent as a cinematographer has allowed him to share his observations through the production of educational documentaries -- plus his hit television series "Guy Harvey's Portraits From The Deep."
Rolf Schmidt and Petra Roeglin

Rolf Schmidt and Petra Roeglin dove the Red Sea in Oct 1974 for the first time. It was a trip organized by the local Dive Club in their home town in Germany.

Both of them were born in Germany, Rolf grew up and went to school in his home town. Petra spent her childhood in Venezuela this is where she developed her love for the oceans.

Rolf moved to the Red Sea in 1975 and Petra followed. Sharm el Sheikh became their home. They organized the first regular diving tours, traveling along the Sinai coast diving and exploring dive sites no one else dived before. By 1977 they had established their first small diving center in Sharm el Sheikh.

They established Sinai Divers in one of the first Egyptian Hotels built in Sharm el Sheikh. At the same time the construction of the luxurious Ghazala I, the first Live- aboard dive vessel in the Egyptian Red Sea.

A second boat, Ghazala Voyager, would follow a few years later. Over the years Sinai Divers expended and today there are a total of six Dive Centers and a small 50 room Dive Resort.

Despite all the difficulties they had to overcome while living and working in the Middle East they never considered even once to leave. Sinai and the Red Sea is their home and first love.
Sam Davidson

Sam DavidsonSam Davison was a US Marine that spent considerable time in the South Pacific during the Second World War. His time on the island of Guam changed his life and his underwater experiences in the oceans of Guam proved to be the driving force in his life.

In 1948 he went to the University of Miami to study engineering with a dream to develop the technology of the dive regulator. Upon reading an article in the July 1953 edition of Popular Science on how to build your own diving lung, his dream was in focus. Sam borrowed $10,000 from his mother and with this loan he built his first regulator the R-1 double-hose regulator.

Borrowing the first two letters of his last name and the first three of the word "corporation," he came up with the name DACOR in 1954. DACOR introduced their first regulator in 1955, named "Dial a Breath." This regulator started a manufacturing frenzy. Sam worked on the R4 and the C3 regulators, he also helped develop the first single hose regulator, called the "DACOR Dart."

Sam originated the idea for the "Glo-Top" snorkel and the larger barrel snorkel, then went on to develop a curved snorkel designed to adapt to your head in 1960. DACOR was known as the most innovative dive equipment manufacturer in the 1960's.

Sam did everything it took to keep the trust of the divers he outfitted.

DACOR was "The Professional's Choice." In 1987, Sam passed away and DACOR was sold to Mares in 1998.

DACOR & Sam Davison have gone on to become Legends in Diving.
Ric and Do Cammick

Rick and Do CommickRic and Do Cammick built the first diving resort in Fiji in 1974, near to what is still Fiji's signature dive site, Rainbow Reef. They also pioneered promotion of Fiji on the international market, using film showings at early film festivals, as well as print advertising.

Through their efforts, the world quickly became aware of Fiji as the soft coral capital of the world. They were prime movers of reef conservation efforts, which involved garnering support from 90 tribal chiefs. With Jean-Michel Cousteau, Ric and Do also established the first recompression facility in Fiji.
Clive Cussler

Clive CusslerClive Cussler is a multi-faceted, prolific author of adventure fiction and non-fiction novels, undersea adventurer and explorer. He began writing in 1965 and published his first Dirk Pitt novel in 1973. His first non-fiction work, The Sea Hunters, was published in 1996 and earned him the first Doctor of Letters degree ever awarded by the State University of New York Maritime College in its 1213-year history.

As founder of the non-profit National Underwater & Marine Agency (NUMA), his life has mirrored his literary works; he has supervised the discovery and documentation of over 60 historically significant underwater wreck sites with all artifacts and proceeds donated to museums and institutions of learning. Dr. Cussler is also a Fellow of the Explorers Club and the Royal Geographical Society of London.
Ron Kipp

Ron KippRon Kipp left a prominent position with IBM in 1980 and relocated to the Cayman Islands to become the owner of Bob Soto's Diving, Ltd. He began a program of modernizing and promoting not only his business, but the Cayman Islands. His company was recognized as one of the largest and leading diving companies in the Cayman Islands - which is regarded by many as the Number One Diving Destination in the world.

In early 1995, Rodale's Scuba Diving magazine awarded Bob Soto's Diving Ltd. the "Number 1 Favorite Day Boat Operator" award. Skin Diver magazine, stated, "Bob Soto's Diving is the Cinderella story of resort diving" His successful marketing programs include the first Guaranteed Dive Vacation, Cayman Madness and SCUBABOWL.
Leslie Leaney

Leslie LeaneyBorn in London, England, Leslie Leaney started diving in 1969 around the island of Singapore. He progressed through the BSAC system and became a scuba instructor, club Expedition Director and eventually Diving Officer, for BSAC Special Branch in Singapore. During his two-and-a-half year tenure he trained several dozen divers and was responsible for the training curriculum of over a dozen instructors and over 70 active recreational divers.

In 1970, operating out of the port of Mersing, Leaney lead dozens of diving expeditions out into the South China Sea islands off Malaya's east coast. Exploring principally around the islands Pulau Dayang, Aur, Tioman,and Permangil, his expeditions did some of the very early recording of the effect of the Crown of Thorns starfish on coral reefs in that area.

In 1971, prior to the rise of international diving tourism, Leaney led an expedition dive team to the Perhentian Islands off the north east Malay coast, and then another to the Indian Ocean, diving the atolls of the Maldive Islands. In 1972, after diving trips to Australia and New Zealand, he conducted a survey on behalf of the late King Hussein of Jordan, on the feasibility of establishing a dive center in the Red Sea port of Aquaba, Jordan. During the 1970's he traveled extensively working with divers and instructors in England, Malta, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

In 1980 Leaney relocated to Malibu, Southern California, where he worked in the music industry. He started to pursue his interest in diving history, and throughout the 1980's compiled an extensive diving library and a collection of historical antique equipment. His archives currently provide reference research material for diving historians, and items from his collection are on display at various museums. In 1992, this interest in history lead to Leaney to co-found the Historical Diving Society-USA, (HDS-USA) with Skip Dunham. The inaugural meeting featured a mix of recreational, military and commercial divers and the Society continues to provide an educational forum for these separate, but connected, groups to learn about their joint history. Initially formed as a chapter of the British HDS, the Society evolved into an American non-profit corporation. During its 20 year existence Leaney has worn the hats of Chairman, President and Executive Director, and under his guidance the Society has grown from a few dozen members to over 2,700 in 44 countries. It is internationally affiliated with similar organizations.

To guide the new Society, Leaney helped establish and develop an international Advisory Board of divers, who had distinguished themselves in their chosen fields. Under his guidance the HDS-USA Advisory Board has continued to grow in stature along with the Society. Members include Sylvia Earle, Hans and Lotte Hass, Scott Carpenter, Sir John Rawlins, James Cameron, Bev Morgan, Lad Handelman, Dr. Christian Lambertsen, Zale Parry, Andre Galerne, Ernie Brooks, David Doubilet and many others. A listing of the full HDS-USA Advisory Board can be found at the head of the home page.

In 1993 Leaney founded Historical Diver Magazine, (later renamed to The Journal of Diving History), America's first, and only, publication devoted to all aspects of diving history. As founding publisher and editor he introduced various columns, including the "Women Pioneers in Diving" column written by former Skin Diver Magazine editor Bonnie Cardone. He also printed numerous historical articles translated from foreign language, including Russian, French and German that had never before been published in America.

Through his research, Leaney has written numerous articles that have appeared in several international publications, and is the historical columnist for PADI's Undersea Journal. He has lectured on the subject of diving history at seminars in France, Canada, Mexico, England and America. Leaney's research is referenced by numerous authors and he has acted as a consultant for The History Channel, The B.B.C., The Discovery Channel, United States Navy and other organizations.

During his international travels he has assisted in strengthening the ties between America and divers many other countries who wished to record their own nations diving history. Leaney's work with the Musee du Scaphandre in Espalion and the World Festival of Underwater Images in Antibes, helped lay the foundation for the formation of HDS France. He was also instrumental in forming Societies in Russia, Asia, Germany, Canada, Mexico and South East Australia and Pacific.

As the American representative of Austrian diving pioneers, Professor Hans Hass and Lotte Hass, Leaney worked with Ed Stetson and orchestrated their return to American in 1998 for a film festival in their honor. A stellar cast comprising of Zale Parry, Al Giddings, Stan Waterman, Ernie Brooks, Al Tillman, Sylvia Earle, Phil Nuytten, Howard and Michele Hall, Emory Kristof, Bev Morgan and Andy Rechnitzer who participated in the event. "It was the finest tribute occasion I have ever attended," said Stan Waterman.

Working again with Ed Stetson, Leaney became the co-organizer of the annual HDS Great White Shark Fund Raiser at Guadalupe Island, Mexico, in which members get to dive with pioneer divers like Rodney Fox, David Doubilet, Bob Meistrell, Bev Morgan, Ernie Brooks and Stan Waterman.

Leaney has served the HDS since its founding, contributing thousands of volunteer hours in numerous areas of the Society's administration. Fund-raising and sponsorship programs created and introduced by Leaney have raised in excess of $1,000,000 for the Society. He has played a vital role in many of the major developments in the Society's history, including negotiating the strategic HDS affiliations with the Association of Diving Contractors International (ADCI), the Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA), the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), Divers Alert Network (DAN), the Beneath The Sea (BTS) non-profit corporation, and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM).

Leaney serves, or has served, on the Board of Directors of The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, The Commercial Diving Hall of Fame, the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, the Historical Diving Society USA, and other educational organizations.

Among his awards are the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences NOGI Award for Education, the Beneath the Sea Diver of the Year Award for Service, The Wyland Foundation ICON Award, The Historical Diving Society E.R. Cross Award, the British Historical Diving Society Award, and Honorary Life Time memberships in the Historical Societies of Russia, Canada and South East Asia, Pacific.

Leaney is an inductee in The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, a Fellow of the Explorers Club, a Fellow of the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences and, by the nomination of Dr. C. Lambertsen, a Lifetime Member of the U.D.T. Seal Association.
Kelly Tarlton

Kelly TarltonKelly Tarlton worked throughout his career to design an innovative marine aquarium four times larger than any other in the world. It is called Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World and it opened in 1985 in New Zealand. His concept has been emulated internationally and his innovative techniques, such as curving the acrylic tunnels are still used.

These aquariums have promoted awareness and conservation of the marine realm around the world and have provided an educational platform for schools and students. The Underwater World was an instant success, winning various awards including the “British Tourism Award for Best New Attraction Worldwide” in 1987.
Armand and JoAnn Zigahn

Armand and Jo ZigahnArmand and JoAnn Zigahn - Thirty-six years ago Armand Zigahn (Zig) founded Beneath the Sea, the largest consumer oceans exposition, dive and travel show in America. JoAnn joined him 10 years later as President and implemented a children’s program called Ocean Pals, an international contest open to children from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Since the beginning of Beneath the Sea, the Zigahns have been a major force within the dive and travel industry by providing a stage for travel and tourism to speak directly to divers and dive travelers the New York Metro Market. With this dynamo team at the helm, this not-for-profit dive show continues its charitable efforts and provides public education for the support our oceans.
Allan Power

Alan PowerAllan Power has a vast knowledge of the President Coolidge; he is the man they call 'Mr President'. Nearly 40 years ago, Allan came to Santo on a salvage expedition and has remained to become the 'caretaker' of this magnificent underwater adventure.

With over 15,000 dives on the wreck his knowledge is arguably unrivaled. He has spent a total bottom time of more than one and a half years diving her and has taken over 20,000 divers to visit the Lady alone as well as frequently guiding divers to other parts of the ship. His connection with the phenomenal Boris is unmatched and only Allan could charm this monster Cod- many have tried, without success - and to this day Allan quite misses Boris.

After a morning's dive, share coffee/tea and buns (cakes) with Allan in his house. Here you can listen to his experiences, ask questions about the Coolidge, her history and diving around Santo and meet your fellow divers. His house is a mini-museum where he has collected artifacts, books and photographs of the Coolidge and Santo.
Andre Laban

Andre LabanAndre Laban is a World-renowned French diver, photographer, author, and painter André Laban, was a pioneering member Jacques-Yves Cousteau's Calypso team, serving as chief engineer and diver. He developed early underwater cameras which were used in shooting The Silent World which won an Oscar for Best Documentary in 1956.

He shot several films in the Cousteau Odyssey series, co-directed three, and his distinctive bald head can been seen in several Cousteau films. From 1956-1966, he was Director of the French Office Underwater Search. From 1966, he began to paint his underwater images, which are internationally acclaimed and collected world wide. In 1996 he won the Palme d’Or at the World Festival Underwater Images in Antibes, for his film, ‘Iris and Oniris.’ A collection of the photographs he produced from 1973 to 1983 has been published as ‘One Bald Man,’ released in 2007. He is the recipient of numerous international awards.
Bev Morgan

Bev MorganBev Morgan began free diving and surfing in 1949, a year after leaving high school and became a Los Angeles County lifeguard in1952. That year, he purchased an early Aqua Lung scuba unit and founded the Los Angeles County Instructors program which was the first scuba instructor's program available to the public. He also wrote the first Instruction manual which was based on the Scripps Institute program and also the Underwater Safety, a standard diving book of the 1950's.

Bev’s ideas and inventions have had a huge impact on commercial and sport diving for nearly half a century. He also began manufacturing wetsuits and developed what would become Body Glove. As an early diving writer and photographer his work appeared in Skin Diver magazine, and also dove commercially for abalone and in the oilfields. In 1966, in association with Bob Kirby, a former Navy diver, he started The Kirby Morgan Corporation, a company that would change the face of commercial diving forever with its development of lightweight, comfortable, professional diving gear. It also produced the diving equipment for the movie "Sphere." Today the company is the world standard for surface supplied diving helmets and its products are employed in every ocean in the world. Kirby Morgan, a name that has become synonymous with outstanding diving equipment and the company through which Bev Morgan continues to serve the diving industry.
Clement Lee

Clement LeeClement Lee is a leader in the development of the recreational dive industry in the Malaysian state of Sabah . This dive industry pioneer started Borneo Divers over a quarter of a century ago and has introduced recreational diving and dive tourism in Sabah as well as resort management in Sipadan. As Managing Director and a founding partner of Borneo Divers & Sea Sports, he was among the first to build a dive resort on the famous Sipadan Island in 1989.

He became a dive master and PADI instructor in 1985 and six years later became the first ever PADI Course Director in Malaysia. Lee has actively promoted conservation and environmental protection efforts and is involved in Project AWARE and various other clean up activities.
Howard and Michele Hall

Howard and Michele HallHoward and Michele Hall are award-winning natural history filmmakers and photographers perhaps best known for their underwater IMAX films. As Director and Producer, respectively, their IMAX feature film credits include the IMAX3D feature Into the Deep; Island of the Sharks, Coral Reef Adventure (in which they are also featured on camera), Deep Sea 3D, and most recently the IMAX3D feature Under the Sea3D. Howard has been the underwater cinematographer and/or Director of Underwater Cinematography on 4 other IMAX features.

Howard and Michele also have a history in television programming, and between them they have won seven Emmy Awards. Howard has produced and/or directed many award winning natural history television films including a National Geographic Special, which he co-produced with Michele, and three episodes of the PBS series Nature. Howard also directed and Michele produced the award winning, five-hour series Secrets of the Ocean Realm for PBS.
Dr. Eugenie Clark

Dr Eugenie ClarkDr. Eugenie Clark is a world-renowned ichthyologist and authority on sharks who is popularly known as the SHARK LADY. Born in New York City (1922), of Japanese descent, Eugenie was swimming before she was two and throughout her childhood her interest in sea creatures grew. By the 1940's she was well on her way to a groundbreaking career, despite the hostilities toward the Japanese and prevalent sexism during WWII. Among her many discoveries, Clark was the first person to develop a technique for making "test-tube" babies in female fish. She went on to become a world-famous scientist and pioneer in the field of scuba diving for research purposes.

She was a research assistant at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the New York Zoological Society, and at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. She was the founding director (1955 to 1967) of the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, now a leading center for shark research called the Mote Marine Laboratory with which she is still affiliated. Her studies on the intelligence and behaviour of sharks at this point earned her the nickname "Shark Lady".

Dr. Clark is the recipient of three honorary D.Sc. degrees and awards from the National Geographic Society, the Explorers Club, the Underwater Society of America, the American Littoral Society, the Gold Medal Award of the Society of Women Geographers, and the President's Medal of the University of Maryland. She has authored three books and over 160 scientific and popular articles.

She has conducted 71 deep submersible dives. Her latest research projects concern the behaviour of tropical sand fishes and deep-sea sharks. These studies have been featured in 12 articles she has written for National Geographic magazine.
Nick Icorn

Nick IcornNick Icorn, has been called the "Keeper of the Flame" for preserving diving's illustrious history through his collection of sports diving gear. His diving career includes experience in numerous aspects of diving, including working as a design engineer with US Divers, Healthways, Cavalero, Airco Cryogenics, Sherwood Selpac, and Ocean Dynamics.

After serving in WWII Nick was accepted for training as a Swimmer Scout in the 1st Beach Reconnaissance Platoon of the Marine Corps. In 1950 he began his recreational diving career and was part of the first formal underwater instructors course conducted at Scripps Institute of Oceanography in 1953. The following year Nick began working with the Los Angeles County Instructor training program and served on its board of directors for twelve years. He continued with his education in diving and was certified as an instructor by NAUI, SSI, YMCA and NASDS, providing him with a very wide perspective on the quality and contents of all the training programs in the United States.

In 1970 Nick became PADI's first and only executive director. At the time PADI had only 234 instructors, a number that increased to 12,000 worldwide under his watch. The next year he conducted a survey on diving classes throughout the U.S. and wrote the first "Standards and Procedures Manual" for instructors, followed very shortly by his manual "The Basic Scuba Course" which was a step-by-step comprehensive training manual for basic diving certification. Nick's third manual, "Open Water Training" probably changed the diver training more than any other publication. It was the first effort to incorporate multiple open water dives in the training process which was key to making the sport safer.

Nick formulated a dive training program for PADI consisting of five open water dives and then implemented it under the new certification of "Open Water Diver." He went on to write a series of speciality courses for those who wanted more advanced or specialised training, but who were not necessarily interested to proceed on the path to instructor. The industry benefited enormously from the influx of more experienced, confident divers who were safe in open water conditions, continued diving and training throughout their lives.

Over the years Nick has assembled a museum of historical diving equipment that is unequaled. The Historical Diving Society recognised Nick's immeasurable contributions by creating The HDS Nick Icorn Diving Heritage Award which is presented annually.
Francis Toribiong

Francis ToribiongGrowing up in Palau after the end of World War II, Francis was strongly influenced by the first divers who came to Palau to do salvage work. During the early 1960's, Francis helped divers salvage metals and met pioneer divers who came to Palau, including J.Y. Cousteau aboard the Calypso, leaving a great impression on young Francis who was determined to become a professional diver.

From 1968 -1975 Francis attended Long Beach State University where he studied anthropology. At Laguna Beach, Francis met Dean Westgaard who introduced him to all of the 1970's extreme sports: mountain climbing, skydiving, white water rafting and SCUBA diving. Westgaard initially helped Francis get his SCUBA license and in 1974 sponsored, encouraged and helped qualify Francis to become a dive instructor.

1976 brought Francis back to the ocean where he began collecting tropical fish for export. During that same period, Francis started to provide diving services to visitors who had heard about Palau and shortly thereafter he founded Fish 'n Fins dive shop.

During the 1980's and 1990's, almost single-handedly, Francis carried the dive industry of Palau to where it is today. Flying with his wife, Susan, to dive shows and conferences around the world with the amazing support from Continental Airlines who flew them anywhere, anytime, to advertise Palau. 1980 -1992 Francis and his friend Klaus Lindeman were on a self-appointed mission to recover and document the remains of a WWII Japanese fleet which sunk in Palau during operation "Desecrate 1". In the mid-1980's along with Carl Roessler and Avi Klapfer, Francis laid the foundation that opened up liveaboard diving in Palau.

In 1993, an IMAX production came to Palau to document the underwater wonders of Palau. Soon after they started to shoot the movie they realised that Francis was as interesting a story as was the nature in Palau. Francis and his family became the stars of IMAX's "The Living Sea".

WylandMarine life artist Wyland has earned the distinction as one of America's most unique creative influences and a leading advocate for marine resource conservation. An accomplished painter, sculptor, underwater explorer and educator, he has traveled the farthest reaches of the globe for more than twenty-five years, capturing the raw power and beauty of the aquatic universe.

He is perhaps best known for his monumental Whaling Wall mural project — an epic series of life-size marine life murals that spans fourteen countries on four continents and is viewed by an estimated 1 billion people every year. The artist's efforts for conservation awareness, moreover, have been recognised by the United Nations, Sierra Club, Rotary International, the Underwater Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he is listed among its Diving Hall of Fame, and private and public institutions throughout the world.

Hailed a "Marine Michelangelo" by USAToday, Wyland's work is sought by millions of collectors and his equally successful Wyland Foundation, in partnership with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is actively engaged in teaching millions of students around the world to become caring, informed stewards of our oceans, rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands.

Internationally recognised as an official artist for the 2008 United States Olympic Team, he has been further honoured in the Guinness Book of World Records, Who's Who in American Art, the U.S Department of Commerce / NOAA's 200th Anniversary Celebration, the Natural World Museum's "Art In Action" Campaign, and many national and international publications. His final 100th Whaling Wall, a 24,000 square foot series of murals with student artists from 110 countries, was displayed in October 2008 at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and honoured by the National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, White House Council on Environmental Quality, and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The multi-faceted artist has hosted several television programs, including, "Wyland: A Brush With Giants" on the Discovery Channel's Animal Planet Network and "Wyland's Art Studio," a new series for public television. Today, he is considered one of the most influential artists of the 21st Century, with artwork in museums, corporate collections, and private homes in more than one hundred countries.
Geri Murphy

Geri HallGeri Murphy began scuba diving in 1967 as a teenager in the freshwater quarries of Pennsylvania. In 1968, she became a certified diver and a member of two Pennsylvania dive clubs: C-Y Divers and the Main Line YMCA Divers.

Over the course of the next three years, she became a YMCA Scuba Instructor, a PADI Diving Instructor and a NAUI Diving Instructor. For seven years she has taught diving at the Main Line YMCA.

Today, she is a freelance professional underwater photographer and diving journalist based in Nevada. She is one of the few full-time underwater photographers in the world.

Murphy began underwater photography in 1970 and has been actively teaching the skill since 1975. In 1974, she served as assistant dive coordinator and safety diver for the feature film production of a Cornell Wilde film, Shark's Treasure. She moved to the island of Bonaire in 1975 to become the first woman scuba diving instructor for Captain Don's Aquaventure. She was also an underwater photography instructor, a dive guide and photo technician. In 1976, she became Hollywood's first underwater script supervisor when she spent five months working on Columbia Pictures' underwater film, The Deep. Her work on this film took her to the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Marion Reef in Australia's Coral Sea. She was also the script supervisor for an episode of Man From Atlantis (1977), and appeared in an episode of the TV series Switch as an underwater stunt woman, which included a buddy-breathing sequence with Robert Wagner. Additionally, she has served behind the scenes as Skin Diver's still photographer on two shark diving specials for CBS Sports. Her work has led her to become a recognized member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

In 1989, Murphy received an award from the Cayman Island Watersports Operators Association in recognition for naming Stingray City and publishing the first feature article in Skin Diver Magazine on this amazing undersea phenomenon.

For over 35 years, she has shared her remarkable photography skills and writing abilities with the world through her hundreds of magazine articles and books. She can credit over 200 magazine cover shots and has written hundreds of published articles. Throughout her years in the diving industry, she has certainly proved she has a rare eye for sharing the feeling of being underwater.
Howard Rosenstein

Howard RosensteinHoward Rosenstein grew up in Southern California and, as a child, was always at the beach. His first SCUBA experience as a teenager was cleaning pools, after which he was hooked and inevitably took his first certification course a few years later.

At 19, Howard jumped aboard a freighter ship and traveled to Israel where he dived the Red Sea for the first time.

While studying for his B A in Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of California in Northridge, Howard took a year off to study Archaeology at Tel Aviv University (1968) and it was there that he met his wife Sharon. There, he discovered ancient artifacts in the Mediterranean and explored the Red Sea coast in greater detail.

The Rosensteins started their first business in the ancient Roman harbors along Israel's Mediterranean coast in 1970. A year later, they expanded their operations to include the Red Sea base and opened one of the very first diving operations along the Sinai Coast of the Red Sea. In 1973 the Rosenstein's promoted their pioneering operation during a trip to Europe and the US. It was Howard's first experience as an Ambassador of Red Sea Diving where he was first introduced to Dr. Eugenie Clark and underwater photographer David Doubilet. The trio would eventually work together on eight National Geographic features over a span of 30 years.

The Yom Kippur War occurred in October 1973, and the area was evacuated and bombed. Business was put to rest until some years later when they slowly re-built and Sharem became one of the most popular diving destinations for divers. Film crews, diving and nature magazines, diving tourism companies and many famous people from the world over shared their Red Sea experience with Howard and his team.

The Sinai Peninsula where his dive center was located was returned to Egyptian sovereignty as part of 1982 Camp David Peace Treaty between Israel and Egypt. Howard then developed Fantasea Line a multinational live-aboard diving operation taking divers the length of the Red Sea and as far as the exotic Indian Ocean atolls of Aldabra and Astove, in the Seychelles Islands.

Since then, Howard has developed underwater photographic equipment and invented and patented the ProEar diving mask. In 2002, together with his son Nadav, he created Fantasea Line, a company dedicated to making underwater photography affordable and fun. Fantasea Line is the world's leading Nikon Coolpix housing manufacturer as well as an industry leader in underwater photography accessories and lighting equipment.
Kimiuo Aisek

Kimiuo AisekKimiuo Aisek witnessed Operation Hail­stone, the American attack on the Japanese Imperial Navy's Fourth Fleet at Truk Lagoon in 1944. He was only 17 years old, but was old enough to know that life would change forever. Kimiuo was a walking history of the battle and had a photographic memory of the Lagoon at the time of the attack. By the mid-1970s he had been diving in the lagoon for years, located many of the wrecks and had brought diving to Truk. His fame as a Dive-master was common knowledge.

Born in Truk under Japanese rule in 1927, Kimiuo's compassion for Japanese navy and army men during the war years later led him to revere the underwater graveyards and the souls entombed within the sunken ships. Hundreds of visiting divers reveled in hearing Kimiuo "talk story" about Operation Hailstone.

His hospitality and caring nature endeared him to strangers who felt they were not just tourists, they had become a part of his extended family. Despite hosting the diving world's greatest celebrities, Kimiuo always remained a humble man.

When Kimiuo died in 2001 at the age of 73, he left a diving legacy unmatched anywhere else in the world.
Larry Smith

Larry SmithHe should have been born a fish, but instead Larry Smith was born a boy in East Texas and grew up into a man who loved the water. His larger-than-life personality will always be remembered by those who were fortunate enough to meet him and had the pleasure to dive with 'the world's greatest divemaster'.

In 1972, Larry Smith began a diving career that would span 3-1/2 decades and more than 20,000 dives. He had a hand in developing operations in Cayman and Jamaica; however, he is most noted for his time spent at Kungkungan Bay Resort in his adopted home of Indonesia. There he combined a keen eye for small critters with his world-famous personality, to become an impressive figure that popularized an entire subculture of SCUBA: muck diving. Larry inspired a generation of underwater naturalists ranging from the Indonesian dive guides he trained, to recreational divers and world-class underwater photographers and writers.

His long and illustrious career as a diver took him to secret seas around the world, working in almost every facet of the business - industrial and sports diving, owning and operating full-service dive shops, conducting SCUBA training programs and starting up dive resorts. You name it, he's done it!

Larry's lifelong passion for diving got its real start in 1972 when he began to provide all levels of scuba training to local colleges, health clubs and private enterprises. He was asked to develop marine tours for developing destinations such as Cozumel, Cayman Islands, Bonaire and the newly independent nation of Belize. Larry was among the earliest dive pioneers to introduce the country's underwater wonders to the world. In 1989, an offer came in from Indonesia to serve as cruise director for what was being billed as "The World's Best Live-Aboard taking divers to the World's Best Diving". After being in Indonesia only several months, Larry fell in love and eventually married Dewi Asih whom he first met in a Yogya shopping mall.

After spending nearly three years in the Caribbean with Dewi, Larry accepted another offer in the Asia/Pacific region to contribute his know-how and skills to the start-up of another live-aboard owned by the son of Malaysia's prime minister. Since the 1980s, he worked more or less continuously on luxury live-aboards with the exception of a short break in North Sulawesi training dive guides.

Sadly, Larry passed away on March 20, 2007 in Sorong, Indonesia.
Bob Halstead

Bob HalsteadAs a teenager in England, Bob became fascinated by the underwater adventures of Hans and Lotte Hass. In 1968, armed with a University Degree in Physics/Mathematics and a Post-Grad. Certificate in Education, Bob departed England for a teaching post as Head of the Physics Department at Queen’s College Nassau, Bahamas where he immediately learned to dive, fell in love with diving adventure, and bought an underwater camera. In 1970 Bob became a NAUI instructor (# 2000) at Freeport, Grand Bahama.

In 1973 he moved to Papua New Guinea and started a systematic exploration of its reefs and wrecks that continues to this day. Bob, with his diver wife Dinah, formed PNG's first full time sport diving business in 1977 with a dive shop and school in Port Moresby and ran adventurous “Camp and Dive Safaris” in Milne Bay Province, from their dive boat Solatai, starting the promotion of organized dive tourism to PNG.

A celebrated underwater photographer, Bob has won many awards including the Australasian Underwater Photographer of the year award in 1983. In 1986, he started the first PNG live-aboard dive boat operation, Telita Cruises with the 20 meter dive charter vessel, Telita, a boat built in PNG to his specifications and under Bob’s personal supervision. This pioneering vessel, with Bob as Captain, was the first to explore and promote many of the diving sites now popular with diving visitors to PNG. The areas he loved best were those marked on the charts “Caution, Un-surveyed”.

Bob and Dinah have led sport diving, filming and scientific expeditions exploring underwater all the coastal regions of PNG and have jointly made over 15,000 dives in the process including as consultants to the Cousteau Society and National Geographic. They have discovered several marine species new to science. A Sand Diver fish, Trichonotus halstead, was named after them in 1996, and Bob has a new species of Razor fish named after him, Xyrichtys halsteadi.

“Muck Diving”, now a diving genre, is a phrase coined by Bob to describe dives he led in less attractive environments searching for exotic creatures. He also introduced tourists to diving with living nautilus, when this was previously the sole realm of scientists. In 2004, already a NAUI instructor for more than 30 years, and more than twice the age of the next younger candidate, Bob successfully completed a full PADI instructor course.

Bob has published 8 books on diving and marine life, chapters in several other books, and hundreds of magazine stories on diving safety, marine life and PNG dive sites, characterized by fine photography, thoughtful messages and a sense of humor. His best known articles extol the difference between “Risk” and “Danger” and emphasize the importance of self-sufficiency in diving skills, knowledge and equipment. Bob’s Coral Sea Reef Guide - a book which has achieved iconic status in the region - provides divers with a beautifully illustrated reference to most of the fishes and invertebrates that divers are likely to encounter in the Coral Sea region which includes the Great Barrier Reef, PNG, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.Bob now lives in Cairns, Australia, spending his time writing about Scuba diving and guiding special diving adventures to PNG on several of the top PNG dive vessels.
Cathy Church

Cathy ChurchAs a child, Cathy Church was an avid biologist. She earned a BS in biology from the University of Michigan where she learned to SCUBA dive. She was studying marine biology at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine biology station in Monterey, California when she met Jim Church, a scuba diver who was pioneering underwater photography. Cathy wanted to document her underwater work and spent many dives with Jim exploring ways to use the Calypso camera and flashbulb systems with homemade accessories.

She continued on to the University of Hawaii where Jim joined her and they were married. She earned her MS in Marine biology but in the late 1960s, in Hawaii, she was not able to break the barricades against women divers and she quit pursuing a career as a scientist. Instead, she turned to two other activities—underwater photography and a job teaching 7th and 8th grade science in California.

She and Jim continued pioneering underwater photo techniques. Cathy co-authored hundreds of magazine articles and four books on underwater photo techniques, and offered seminars throughout the USA. Her first week-long photo courses were taught in Grand Cayman in 1972. She developed the first franchised photo courses for dive shops through NASDS. She has photographed for many clients including Kodak, Nikon, the US Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands. Her poster “Wonderland” earned a Certificate of Distinction from Creativity Magazine for best travel poster of the year in 1991.

Forty years later Cathy is still developing new twists and turns to her photography, adding fine art black and white to her style in 1995. In the early 2000s, of course, she moved on to digital. She is always keeping up with developments so that she can teach her students the most up-to-date techniques.

She has taught thousands of divers how to enjoy their photography. She still offers seminars throughout the USA and teaches regularly at her underwater photo centre in Grand Cayman.

Her enthusiasm when she teaches and her kindness toward her students have won her accolades from divers around the world. She encourages people through her writing, her seminars and her classes to enjoy the wonders of the undersea environment. She spends many hours successfully coaching people who are fearful of the water on how to become snorkelers and divers.

Her latest book, a coffee table book “My Underwater Photo Journey” is not only a collection of her favorite images from the first forty years of her career, but there are free photo lessons on line for each image. Cathy believes in sharing everything she has learned and she has found many ways to do that.

She received the prestigious NOGI award for the arts from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences in 1985, the “Reaching Out Award” from the DEMA Hall of Fame in 2000, was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2000, was voted into the Explorers’ Club in 2001, received the “Paul Revere Spike Award” from the Underwater Club of Boston in 2001, and was a charter recipient of the Platinum Pro 5000 Card in 1993.
Daniel Mercier

Daniel MercerBorn the 31st May 1931 in Clamart in the suburbs of Paris. In his youth he had an unrequited desire to navigate. During this period after the 11 WW it was difficult to realize his dream. At 20 years old, he left Paris for Switzerland, where he became interested in educating and animating youth, doing research on the different pedagogic educational methods.

1947 First dive in Antibes - Juan -les – Pins
1961 He settles in Antibes and becomes immediately interested in the sea, his boyhood dream. He started diving the same year.
1963 Passes his first diving certification.
1966 Founded the ‘Spondyle Club’, which grew into one of the larges French Clubs, of which he still presides over.
1967 Becomes state instructor for underwater diving. Today, he is 3rd state degree, the highest national level.
1968 - 1984 President of the Cote D'Azur regional education commission and National Instructor, member of the nation and International College.
1973 Founded the National Association for diving Instructors ‘Les Guides de la Mer’, a professional syndicated association, of which today he is Honorary-founding President carrying on the activities of the ‘Guides de la Mer’ in the seas and oceans of the world.
1974 With the ‘Spondyle Club’ team, he founded the ‘World Festival of Underwater Images’, the goal being to promote the underwater world, to stimulate new images and to make of this event a meeting place for everyone who feels ‘passionately’ about the sea. Daniel is President and Organizer.
1975 President of the ‘Cote D’Azur committee of the French Federation of Studies and Underwater Sports.
1976 National Vice President of this Federation during 4 years.
1985-1992 Founded and organized the Festival of the Mountains and images in Antibes, (taking the example of the Underwater Film Festival), this activity he pratised with a great interest during his Swiss ‘period’.
1991 Stimulates the creation of an European organization bringing together professionals Instructors of the Underwater Diving World, agreed to preside, this is how the C.E.D.I.P was born (European Committee of Professional Diving Instructors) the administration services are in Antibes and the head office in Anvers.
1992 Is honored to receive the ‘Trident d’Or’, becoming a member of the International Academy of Science and Techniques Subaquatiques of Ustica. Receives the Gold Medal for Youth and Sports.
1993 Receives the ‘Tauchpionierpreis’ that honors the diving pioneers in Germanic countries. This was presented to him on Gose Austria on September 1993. He is the 2nd Frenchman to receive this prize; the first went to Commander Philippe Taillez.
1995 Was elected ‘Man of the Year’ in the Diving domain by the Israeli magazine YAM.
2001 Creator of the foundation ‘Festival of World Underwater Images’ of which he is the superintendent.
2002 Honorary Medal of the National Federation of volunteers of Joinvillias given by the Comity Provence-Cote d’Azur-Corse-Monaco.
2003 Knight of the order of Maritime Merit.
2005 Received the award ‘The Historical Diving Society Hans Hass Diving to Adventure’, awarded by the Historical Diving Society USA, the 3rd to receive the prize. He is still the President of the World Festival of Image and Underwater and of the CEDIP.

Today Daniel is preoccupied in finding solutions to enable the continuity of his different creations/foundations, in particular the World Underwater Film Festival and Underwater Images, which is a major event in the diving world.

His slogan: Diving, the school of life.
Dr. Drew Richardson

Dr Drew RichardsonFew people have had the influence on diving as has Dr. Drew Richardson, the President and Chief Operations Officer for PADI Worldwide. He is also Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Project AWARE Foundation, President of DSAT (Diving Science & Technology), President and COO of Emergency First Response Corporation and President of Current Publishing. Respected by competitors and peers alike, it is safe to say that Richardson has directly or indirectly shaped improved and broadened access to diver education for more than 10 million divers around the world.

Richardson came to PADI in 1985 following a pivotal tenure as an Assistant Professor of Underwater Technology at the Florida Institute of Technology, where he trained commercial divers and also established the first Associate of Science program in Sport Diving Operations. Applying his backgrounds in marine science, business and education he guided the evolution of PADI’s instructional system. Among literally hundreds of landmark accomplishments since then, he guided the introduction of the Recreational Dive Planner – the first dive tables developed and tested specifically for recreational divers, launched the SAFE Diver program, implemented the Essential Change instructional movement of the 1990’s, laid the groundwork for the project AWARE Foundation and oversaw the development of literally every course and course product introduced by PADI, DSAT and the PADI International Resort and Retailer Association. In his role as President of Current Publishing, he is presently participating in the development of a marine sciences curriculum for national use in high schools.

With more than 4500 dives logged, Richardson has personally trained and certified more than 3000 divers from beginners through instructor trainer. He is an active member of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) and South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society (SPUMS), where he helps represent the interests of recreational and technical diving. He is also Chair of the RSTC’s Standards Committee, and was one of the initiators for the formation of RSTC Europe. A respected and popular speaker, Richardson has spoken about dive medicine, diver training, legal issues, the business of diving and other diving and marine topics at literally hundreds of conferences internationally. He is also an accomplished author and Editor in Chief of the Undersea Sea Journal with more than 500 articles and papers published in the Journal and publications of organizations that include the UHMS, SPUMS, RSTC, WRSTC, DAN and DEMA.

When he’s not doing something to further the causes of diving and the underwater world, Richardson likes to spend time with his family in Southern California.
Ron Steven - Rogest

Ron Stevens - RogestRon Steven is a burst of energy. His work enables him to meet a wide variety of people, and if someone doesn’t take well to his candid enthusiasm, he accepts it as a challenge to win them over. No one escapes his infectious personality and playful sense of humor, and most walk away feeling good about their contact with him.

Ron was born in Montreal and raised in England. When Ron left school he was, he says, a fat little English boy who dreamed of saving dolphins and protecting the oceans.

Recognizing early on that he had the “gift of gab”, Ron entered to the hospitality industry, and at 19, landed a restaurant job in the Canadian Rockies. Here, a friend introduced him to diving. In a 7mm wetsuit he plunged through a hole in the ice that had been cut with a chainsaw. “It was horrifyingly cold and there was nothing to see,” he recalls. “It turned me off diving.”

His job took him to Vancouver on the west coast, and he agreed to dive again, assured it would be a better experience. Thankfully it was - he continued diving and a year later qualified as a dive instructor.

When he was offered a contract job managing the restaurant at the Sydney Opera house, he hopped a plane without a second thought. Ron decided to travel north to Cairns after his contract expired, itching to dive the Great Barrier Reef.

Once there, he was hesitant to leave the tropical north of Australia, and he looked for a job. He came across a liveaboard dive company that ran two vessels – one out of Cairns and the other out of Townsville. However, when he asked for employment, he was met with a firm “no.”

Reluctantly Ron returned to Canada. One year later, his heart set on directing Australian dive expeditions, he moved to Townsville, bought a campervan and stubbornly parked outside that same dive operator for 10 days.

Ron finally won them over, and worked on their boats over the next four years. He was “diving every day, charming girls, sketching and photographing the tropical underwater life and writing poetry.” He wasn't saving any dolphins, but a large part of his childhood dream was already beginning to take shape.

As the dive company grew, Ron became domestic sales manager. The position turned international and in 1997 he relocated to Vancouver, Canada where he had the perfect job: traveling six months of the year and interacting with other divers in the industry.

Ron’s next challenge was to become an artist. He’d always been creative, and now he wanted to share visually some of the vibrant life he’d seen on the reef. With no formal art training, taking the first step was the most difficult.

Then, some years ago, a Uruguayan artist urged him to “have a go.” The gates opened and out poured the images that Ron had stored in his mind for years. “I went home, bought canvas, acrylic paints and oils, and started painting.”

He can’t explain why he chose to paint in the pointillistic style. “Dot painting among Australian Aborigines is inspirational to me. It is a style of art I find relaxing and therapeutic,” he says. This approach requires hours of detailed work, building up to 10 or more layers of different paint and texture before Ron is satisfied with the result.

He calls his art ROGEST -a play on his name, Ron George Steven. Today ROGEST originals sell for thousands of dollars. Ron also reproduces his artwork, and retains the reproduction rights. Each reproduction is made using the Giclee printing process. “In my opinion as a painter, this is the very best way of reproducing my work,” Ron states.

Making prints of his artwork allows Ron to carry out his dream of helping our oceans. “I want people- through my work- to think locally and act locally,” says Ron. “For instance, I will give environmental, critter-related, or educational organizations reproduction rights or use of images to help their cause.

So far ROGEST has helped dozens of environmental groups and organizations in this fashion. Yet, ironically, he has yet to paint his beloved dolphins.
Carl Roessler

Carl RoesslerCarl Roessler never knew he would work in international dive travel until fifteen years after he began his business career.

Carl worked for General Electric and IBM after graduating from Yale University. His work at IBM led to his appointment as Director of Computation at Yale. During his tenure at the university, Carl led a design team to develop a pioneering management information system.

After five years in his Yale post, Carl realized a long-held dream and moved with his wife and children to the Caribbean islands of Curacao and Bonaire. During 1969-72, Carl hosted dive groups organized by See & Sea Travel, Inc. of San Francisco.

In 1972, Carl was approached by Dewey Bergman of See & Sea to forsake the Caribbean and travel the world. For the next twenty-five years, Carl organized permanent dive programs in over thirty of what are now the world’s best-loved dive destinations. For twenty of those twenty-five years, Carl was president of See & Sea, the world’s first and largest travel agency exclusively devoted to dive travel. In his long career in dive travel, Carl was the leading popularizer of expeditionary live-aboard dive cruisers that offered good food and comfort while diving at reefs far distant from hotels, airports and population centers. Carl’s favorite dive sites were often hundreds of miles from any shore base.

Beginning in 1967, Carl began taking underwater pictures during his overseas dive trips. Gradually he amassed an enormous collection of over 300,000 images from all around the tropical world. Hundreds of his photos and articles have appeared in major magazines and textbooks in the U.S. and Europe. His specialties are fish portraits, model photos and especially sharks feeding.

Carl’s book The Underwater Wilderness was a best-seller, and an alternate selection of the Book-of the-Month Club in 1977. In 1984, three of Carl’s books (The Undersea Predators, Mastering Underwater Photography, and Divers Guide to the Cayman Islands) were published to rave reviews. In 1986 Carl’s book, Coral Kingdoms, published by Harry N. Abrams Co. of New York, was his second Book-of-the Month Club selection. 1991 saw the publication of Carl’s Diver’s Guide to Australia, and 1992’s book was Great Reefs of the World. Throughout the years, Carl has also run an active business selling his images to magazines, book publishers and stock photo companies.

Carl’s adventures over the past three decades have brought the very first American divers or live-aboard programs to such well-known places as the Cayman Islands, The Galapagos, Australia’s Coral Sea, Fiji, Jordan, the Sudan, Ethiopia, the Maldives, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Palau, Truk Lagoon, Malpelo, as well as the great white shark and whale shark diving adventures that are now so popular. Many divers have experienced their very first shark encounters on live-aboard programs Carl offered through See & Sea.

After twenty-five years running See & Sea Travel, Inc., Carl now acts as an adviser to divers looking for great diving expeditions on well-run live-aboard cruisers around the world.
Neville Coleman

Neville ColemanHonorary Fellow Australian Institute of Professional Photography; Associate Australian museum; Consultant Queensland Museum; Project AWARE Board of Governors ASIA/PACIFIC

Multi-award winning photographic environmentalist, Neville has been seriously recording the aquatic wildlife of the Asia/Pacific region since 1963.

With over 1000 published articles in over 150 magazines, 100,000 images and 60 marine life natural history books ( 29 self published) to his credit he is one of the most accomplished underwater educational authors in the world.

Neville has traveled with and led expeditions all over the Indo-Pacific pursuing the identification of marine species (he has personally discovered over 450 new species of marine life).

In 1969 /73 he led the Australian Coastal Marine Expedition on the first underwater photographic fauna survey ever attempted around an entire continent. Since then he has completed over 160 expeditions throughout Australia and across the globe, documenting some 12,000 species of aquatic flora and fauna. Many of these were photographed in their natural habitat for the first time.

Neville’s discoveries, scientific collections, photographs and observations have contributed to over a hundred scientific papers and journals, books and magazines. His investigations and studies into all aspects of aquatic natural history range through every major phylum of marine animals, from sponges through to mammals.

As a result of his travels Neville’s books relate to the entire Asia/Indo- Pacific area. Dive guides of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef, Wildlife Guides of Fiji, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, the Maldives, Papua New Guinea etc.). Some of his productions (1001 NUDIBRANCHS 1700 pictures) are the most comprehensive of their kind in the world. He writes on mollusks, echinoderms, fish identification, on the behavior of reef creatures, on sea birds and sea safety guides such as Dangerous Sea Creatures.

In addition, he has explored out-of-the-way places such as Norfolk Island, Cocos/Keelings, Christmas Island, Lord Howe Island and many others.

Neville travels far and wide lecturing and teaching on his specialties at Dive Shows and Conferences having appeared at over 300 venues including several in the USA. Few divers anywhere have contributed so much to the science and literature of marine identification/biology and the adventure experience of sport diving.
Paul Humann

An attorney to a dive career, triggered by a single fortuitous phone call.

In the early 1970s, Paul Humann was an attorney with a busy practice in Wichita. On his vacations, he acted as a tour escort for diving vacations offered by See & Sea Travel of San Francisco.

In 1973, Paul made a call to Dewey Bergman of See & Sea, expressing a vague desire to leave the practice of law and go into the diving business.

See & Sea put Paul in touch with the famed Bob Soto in Grand Cayman, where Bob had begun offering diving from an old 80-foot air-sea rescue vessel called M.V. Cayman Diver.

Paul Humann bought the Cayman Diver, remodeled it as much as he could and captained it for one-week dive cruises for the rest of the decade. Along the way, Paul revolutionized diving vacations. Living for a week on board the Cayman Diver, See & Sea clients dove all around Grand Cayman and Little Cayman. They packed in more diving (especially night dives) than were standard in the industry

Paul offered cruises from Cayman to Roatan, crowning adventures in those days for the most adventurous divers. Divers who experienced live-aboard diving as Paul offered it were converted forever, many going on to enjoy other live-aboard all around the world.

Paul retired from skippering dive cruises, and the old Cayman Diver was replaced by the first of a new fleet, the Cayman Aggressor.

In 1989, Paul published his first reef guide (to Caribbean reef fishes) with Ned DeLoach’s New World Publications. Paul has gone on to author guides on fish and invertebrates in the Caribbean, Baja, the Galapagos, the northwest coast of the U.S. and the tropical Pacific.

A long and productive career was triggered by a single fortuitous phone call; Paul Humann has added immeasurably to divers’ base of knowledge as few others have
Ralph Erickson

Ralph EricksonRalph D. Erickson is a leading diving educator and writer. He is co-founder along with John Cronin of PADI, the largest dive training and certification organization in the world.

Erickson was born in South Dakota and the Erickson family later moved to Chicago during the early 1930s. It was in Lake Michigan where he had his introduction to the underwater world. He loved the water becoming a competitive swimmer in high school and eventually a lifeguard.. His skills eventually brought him to the University of Southern California, where he was on the Varsity Swimming Team.

During World War II, Erickson was a Paratrooper in the U.S. Army. Following the war, he attended Northwestern University, earning a Bachelors of Science Degree in Physical Education (1949) and a Masters Degree in Education (1953). Over his three decades of coaching in high school and at Loyola University of Chicago, Erickson was the leader of many championship teams.

Beginning in the summer of 1959 he ran the Erickson Underwater Swimming School. He became a scuba diver and in 1961 Erickson became a Diving Instructor at the first NAUI Instructor Certification Course in Houston. Five years later, in 1966, Ralph Erickson and John Cronin (then the Mid-Western Sales Rep for U.S. Divers) formed the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and Erickson was made President.

He also created and implemented the training program used by PADI. Erickson wrote the first PADI instructional guidelines with student performance objectives. That was considered new and radical back then. But today, performance objectives are the cornerstone of state-of-the-art diver education. Erickson established the basic course requirements and lecture outlines for 11 PADI Certification Levels -- Skin Diver through Master Instructor. Not only had no one done that before, but the structure and flow he developed are the backbone of PADI's continuing education system to this day. Erickson also launched its instructor publication ... the Undersea Journal.

In June 1987, Ralph Erickson retired coaching at Loyola University, but not from teaching scuba. From 1981 to 1989, Ralph and his wife, Karen, own and operate the International PADI Instructor Training Center in Austin, Texas. The name was changed to International Training Center, Inc., which Erickson managed and operated from 1989 through the present.

Erickson continues to be very active in the growth of PADI and the diving industry. Erickson has written many articles on diving and water sports for trade journals and magazines. Ralph Erickson has received many awards and honors for his contributions to scuba diving.
Rodney Fox

Rodney FoxGreat White Shark attack victim, film maker and expedition leader RODNEY FOX was born in South Australia on 9th November 1940. He is happily married to Kay and they have three children Andrew, Lenore and Darren and 7 grandchildren.

Rodney Fox was attacked by a Great White Shark and badly bitten around the chest and arm in December 1963. His story of the attack and escape has been published many times. He is regarded as a miracle survivor of one of the world's worst shark attacks. His abdomen was fully exposed with all ribs broken on his left hand side. His diaphragm was punctured, lung ripped open, scapula was pierced, spleen was uncovered, the main artery from his heart was exposed and minutes away from his veins collapsing due to the loss of large amounts of blood. Tendons, fingers and thumb in his right hand were all cut and to this day he has part of a Great White tooth embedded in his wrist.

Rodney went on to build the first under water observation cage to dive the Great White Shark and has now led 100 major expeditions to film and study his attacker. He is regarded as a world authority on the Great White Shark and has a great reputation as an expedition leader and producer of sharks. It is estimated that Rodney has been involved in some way with 90% of all prominent White Shark images taken world wide, in the 20th Century.

Since Rodney's attack by a Great White in 1963 his involvement with the giant sharks include consultant, guide, expedition leader, hunter, film producer, photographer, coordinator, actor, diver, cage designer, protector and more. For a decade after recovering from his attack, Rodney made his living as a professional abalone diver. This meant spending thousands more hours in the cold waters of South Australia—famed for their population of great white sharks, and exactly where he’d been savaged. This wide variety of experiences gives Rodney a huge repertoire to travel the lecture circuit.

Famous film makers for the movies Jaws and Blue Water, White Death, National Geographic specials, ABC’s 20/20, Wide World of Sports and many others have used Rodney to arrange their white shark filming.

Rodney and Kay have opened the "Rodney Fox Shark Experience” a Shark Museum and Nautical Gift Shop. The museum features Rodney's private collection of displays and items from a life time film making and research on the ocean. The displays feature Great White Shark models, cages from the film "Jaws", giant fossil teeth plus photos and video highlights from many films that he has been involved in.

When he is not talking to groups of people in his shark museum, Rodney's time is spent consulting and coordinating film crews and arranging and guiding tourist adventure trips and expeditions specializing in Great White Sharks, Whale Sharks, crocodiles and other marine creatures.
Andreas B. Rechnitzer

Andreas RechnitzerHe has given over 50 years of dedicated service to undersea vehicles, diving, ocean technology and ocean sciences. Andreas B. Rechnitzer was born on November 30, 1924, in the small farming community of Escondido, California (north of San Diego).

He grew up in Escondido, exploring all the natural areas, especially the waterways. Rechnitzer even ventured to the ocean some 20 miles to the west in Oceanside, California. Andreas Rechnitzer began diving in 1942 as a free diver, mostly in La Jolla near San Diego and in Mexico to the south. While in college during World War II, Rechnitzer graduated from the U.S. Navy Midshipmen School at Fort Schuyler, NY, in 1945. He was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Rechnitzer received a B.S. Degree from Michigan State in 1947 and a M.S. Degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1951. While a doctorate candidate at Scripps, Rechnitzer and Limbaugh pioneered the use of scuba diving in ocean science. In 1951 Rechnitzer co-authored with Limbaugh the first civilian scuba training curriculum and safety rules, titled Diving Training and Field Procedures Syllabus. This was the very first scientific diving manual, that was later used as the basis for training diving instructors for the huge sport diving community. When the Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Department recognized that sport diving was growing in their area, they set up a special Underwater Unit. Al Tillman (a Manager in the Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Department) and Bev Morgan (then a lifeguard for Los Angeles County) came to Scripps for guidance. Rechnitzer, Limbaugh and others trained them in the safe use of scuba and other aspects of diving. In 1954, Los Angeles County provided the first sport diving training course for Diving Instructors in the United States. Rechnitzer was part of that training program from the beginning. All of the other sport diver training programs in the U.S. came from the Los Angeles County Diving Instructor Program which came from Scripps.

Rechnitzer and Limbaugh led the way in developing all types of diving techniques to conduct their scientific diving projects. Others were in this select pioneering group were Willard Bascom, Jim Stewart (later to become Scripps Diving Officer), Wheeler North, Ken Norris and Dr. Hugh Bradner (developer of the wet suit). Rechnitzer was involved in many research projects that took him diving all along the Southern California coast and down into Mexico on the Pacific and Sea of Cortez side of Baja California.

After receiving his doctorate at Scripps, Dr. Rechnitzer joined the Naval Electronics Laboratory (NEL) in San Diego as Deep Submergence Research Program Coordinator and Oceanographer. Dr. Rechnitzer was instrumental in proposing that the U.S. Navy buy the Trieste bathyscaph. Dr. Rechnitzer assembled a very dynamic, progressive small team of 16 specialists. As head of the Trieste Team, Dr. Rechnitzer made many dives in the Trieste down to depths of 18,150 feet (a world record dive at the time). Dr. Rechnitzer was the Scientist-In-Charge when the Trieste made her historic record dive to 35,800 feet off Guam on January 23, 1960. After leaving Rockwell in 1970, Dr. Rechnitzer was with the federal government for 15 years in Washington, DC, as the Senior Civilian Science and Technology Advisor to four successive Oceanographers of the Navy. Some of the positions Dr. Rechnitzer held include: Science and Technology Advisor, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Deep Submergence Systems Division (1970-1973); and Head, International and Interagency Affairs Branch, Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy (1974-1978); Professor (Adjunct) at the Naval Postgraduate School (1977). In 1974, Dr. Rechnitzer served as the U.S. Navy Maritime History Representative for a joint expedition (U.S. Navy/National Geographic Society/Duke University) to validate he discovery and location of the Civil War ironclad U.S.S. Monitor, sunk in 1862 after the famous Monitor and Marrimac battle off Hampton Roads, VA. The expedition was using the research vessel Alcoa Seaprobe.

Dr. Rechnitzer was Leader of several CEDAM International expeditions, including the discovery of the 1847 wreck of the English Royal Mail Steam Packet Company sail/sidewheeler ship Tweed on Scorpion Reef, Yucatan, Mexico. During 1968, he also led a CEDAM International expedition on the 1823 English merchantman Holiday on Scorpion Reef.

During his 31 years in the U.S. Navy Reserves, Dr. Rechnitzer served in the Pacific Theater on two PCE class vessels during World War II. He has been a prolific author, contributing greatly to the advancement of diving, deep submersibles and ocean sciences.

Dr.Rechnitzer has received many awards and honors: The Distinguished Civilian Service Award; the first recipient of the Richard Hooper Day Award; Honorary Citizen, City of San Diego; Honorary Life Membership, National Geographic Society; Outstanding Man of the Year Award, San Dieguito Chamber of Commerce (1960 and 1961); Honored Photographer at the International Underwater Film Festival (1961); the NOGI Award for Sciences the Underwater Society of America the NOGI Award for Distinguished Service from the Underwater Society of America (1989); Fellows Award, Marine Technology Society, Washington, DC (1981); Lockheed Award for Ocean Science and Technology (1990); the NOGI Award for Sports &Education from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (1999); the Roger Revelle Award from the San Diego Oceans Foundation (2000); and other honors.
Dewey Bergman

Dewey BergmanDewey Bergman led the way in researching, planning,organizing and operating top quality diving tours. Bergman was an early YMCA and NAUI (#202) Diving Instructor. As an underwater photographer, he has participated in diving and scientific expeditions to Tahiti, Europe, South America, Mexico, the Bahamas, Africa and Belize. His films, done independently and in cooperation with Bob Hollis and Al Giddings, have been shown national TV and underwater film festivals.

He was active in many areas of diving. For many years, Bergman was coproducer of Man Sea/San Francisco with Al Giddings. He was a long-time member of the Explorers Club and a Director of CEDAM. Bergman was an accomplished underwater photographer. He documented all of the beautiful dive destinations he visited. In addition, Bergman did underwater photography on some serious marine science and ocean technology studies. In 1964, Bergman was the underwater photographer during Dr. Perry Gilbert’s Tikehau Shark Expedition sponsored, in part, by the Office of Naval Research.

Combining his diving background with over 25 years of experience as owner of several successful travel agencies, Bergman created See & Sea, Inc. in San Francisco in 1965. He became President and rapidly built a reputation for top quality diving tours. See & Sea was the first and most successful travel service in the world catering exclusively to diving travelers. Every new location selected as a possible dive destination by See & Sea is thoroughly investigated and researched prior to adding it to the list of dive tours. The high standards of See & Sea set the standards for dive travel operators.

Carl Roessler had been introduced to Dewey Bergman by Paul Tzimoulis (who had been Roessler’s scuba diving instructor in Connecticut in 1957). Roessler went on one of Bergman’s diving tours to Cozumel in 1967. Bob Hollis was the Assistant Tour Leader on the trip. Roessler was organizing diving tours mostly from the New England area. He met and dove with Bob Croft, the gifted Navy breath-holding diver. In 1968, Roessler asked Dewey Bergman, Bob Hollis and Al Giddings to film Bob Croft’s world record breath-hold depth record down to 240 feet off Florida. The resulting movie, The Deep Challenge, launched Giddings’ very productive film making career.

Dewey Bergman received many honours for his work in diving: the NOGI Award Sports & Education from the Underwater Society of America (now presented by The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences)(1977); and many other awards.

Dewey Bergman passed away 1993.
Capt. Don Stewart

Captain Don StewartHe has spent the greater part of his life in Bonaire taking visitors diving and successfully campaigning to protect the natural underwater wonders. Among his many accomplishments, Captain Don lead the campaign to ban spearfishing on Bonaire, instituted the first permanent mooring system which eliminated the need for boats to drop an anchor, founded the Council of underwater Operators, and implemented a mandatory orientation dive for all people diving on Bonaire. He is also responsible for opening the first hotel on the island, Zeebad,(which is now the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort, and in 1976 he opened Captain Don’s Habitat, which introduced capse concept of “diving freedom,” diving 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. His contributions have been recognized by DEMA with the 1998 Reaching Out award, and by Bonaire with a bronze memorial plaque placed at Don’s Reef. Research provided by Cathy Church.

In the early days of recreational diving, inspired by spectacular underwater beauty of Bonaire, Captain Don Stewart set out to build a true haven for divers. His philosophy was simple; build a dive shop with rooms and provide as much freedom so guest divers can dive their own profile in a friendly relaxed atmosphere. In 1976 his dream became reality when he founded Captain Don’s Habitat. Back then it was just a cluster of bungalows built around a dive shop overlooking the beautiful Caribbean Sea. But more importantly, some of the most pristine coral formations and a bonanza of colorful marine life are just a few fin kicks away... Through the years Captain Don’s Habitat, evolved into a world renowned resort catering to today’s most demanding diver and vacationers.

Set amidst lush green gardens with colorful decor and landscaping we now offer the comfort of 3 deluxe varieties of accommodations, fresh water pool, great dinning and entertainment options, friendly service, and of course the best dive in the Caribbean 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

At a very early stage Captain Don realized the importance of conservation of Bonaire’s beautiful underwater resources. His endeavors led to the creation of the permanent mooring system and eventually to the Bonaire Marine Park. For his efforts in marine environment conservation Captain Don has received many awards and recognition all over the world.
Ernie Brooks II

Ernie Brooks IIHe is a noted photographer, educator and ambassador for the diving industry. Brooks has won international acclaim for his underwater photography and audio/visual presentations. His personal photo skills are considered outstanding. And his leadership of the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, is legendary.

Ernie Brooks was born on January 8, 1935 in Santa Maria, California. He grew up in Santa Barbara, CA. His father loved boating and diving. It was natural for Ernie Brooks to inherit a love for the sea. He was destined to spend the rest of his life doing what was meant to be, exploring and documenting the sea. The influence his father gave him in photography was substantial. He was given a camera and a roll of film to photograph his first day in kindergarten. At the age of 4, Ernie Brooks went with his father in photographing California’s Pismo Beach with his large 8x10 view camera. He was right there during the many hours of photo processing in the darkroom.

His first venture beneath the surface of the sea was at Sterns Wharf in Santa Barbara, CA. In 1949 he dove extensively around the marker buoy one-mile off the entrance to Santa Barbara Harbor. He used an early Perrelli drysuit and an old squeaking regulator. In 1950 he made his first venture to the Channel Islands off Southern California. Brooks began his education in under water photography in 1956. At the age of 19 Brooks built his first underwater camera housing. He graduated from the world-renowned Brooks Institute of Photography.

Ernest Brooks Sr. founded the Brooks Institute of Photography in 1945. Ernest Brooks, II worked diligently at the Institute for many years, becoming President in 1971. Brooks Institute is recognized as one of the most extensive underwater photography programs in the world. In addition, Brooks Institute has been utilized as a major research and testing center for underwater photography.

He pioneered the undersea photography program at Brooks Institute. As a professional photographer, his personal photo skills have been featured in exhibits at the Photography Hall of Fame of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Monterey Bay Aquarium, Yugoslavia Man-in-the-Sea, Our World Underwater, the Photography Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, and others. Brooks is known internationally for his spectacular black-and-white underwater photos. Brooks has been Project Leader in many international programs, including: Photo documentation of Arctic research station activities, sponsored by the McGinnis Foundation of Toronto, Canada (1977); Photographic investigation into the Shroud of Turin (1978); International panel in the “Focus On New Zealand” (1985); Photographic research and travel expedition to the Sea of Cortez aboard the Brooks vessel Just Love (1986); and others.

Ernie Brooks has been a consultant to many organizations. He was an Advisor on the International Panel for the New Zealand Centre For Photography. President of Backstreet Publications in Santa Barbara, California. The company concentrates on ocean-related subjects. Brooks has been a keynote speaker at conventions over the past 30 years. His presentations have been for organizations such as: The Dillingham Corporation; Hasselblad Incorporated; California Department of Fish and Game; the U.S. National Parks Service; Texaco Corporation; Nikon, Inc.; Professional Photographers of Michigan; Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences; and others. He has created multi-image presentations with compassionate words and visual portrayal of life through his productions Bless the Beast and the Children, In Search of Tomorrow, The Shroud of Turin, A Dive Beneath the Polar Ice-Cap, Feelings, Just Love, Treasure Island and Remember Me. The extremely high photographic quality of Brooks has been published in many periodicals, including Ocean Real Magazine, Outside, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Communication Arts, Westways, Scuba Times, Skin Diver, Foto-World, Sous-Marine, Professional Photographer of America, Photography Annual, and others For his many contributions to underwater photography and diving, Ernie Brooks has received many awards and honors: Honored Photographer at the International Underwater Film Festival in Santa Monica, CA (1959); Underwater Photography Hall of Fame (1971); Triton Award at the Inner Space Pacifica Convention (1973); NOGI Award for Arts from Underwater Society of America (now presented by The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences) (1974); National Award from the Professional Photographers of America (1977); Hall of Fame Elector from the Photographic Art and Science Foundation (1971 through 1980); Cameracraftsmen of America (one of only 40 photographers in the world) (on the National Advisory Council of the National Society of Arts and Letters) (1978); listed in Who’s Who In Scuba Diving by the Academy of Marine Science and Underwater Research (1993); American Ocean-Partnership Award (1996); Diver of the Year, Beneath The Sea Conference (1998); An Evening With Ernie Brooks, Metropolitan Museum, Sydney, Australia(1999); Ernie Brooks Exhibits Work, De Young Museum of Art, San Francisco (1999); Ernie Brooks Exhibit, Yugoslovia (1999); and others.
Akira Tateishi

Akira TateishiHe is Editor/Publisher of several magazines and a leader in the diving community of Japan. For more than four decades, Akira Tateishi has helped focus Japanese and international attention on underwater photography through movies, television, magazines, and newspapers. Akira Tateishi was born in Chiba, Japan, in 1930.

He began scuba diving in 1956 in search for new subjects for his painting work. To capture what he saw underwater, Tateishi designed and built an underwater camera housing. This allowed him to bring back images of underwater scenes, so he could paint them.

In 1957, Tateishi held his first exhibition of his underwater photography. Also in 1957, Tateishi began his underwater cinematography career. He was underwater cameraman on the film titled Umi wa Ikiteiru (The Living Sea). In 1958, he founded The Marine Art Center.During 1959, Tateishi made is first underwater film in 16mm, titled Kaitei no Doubutsu (Underwater Animals). In April 1966, Tateishi designed an underwater camera housing that he called Tateishi Bronica I. Later that year, his biography 1,000 Hours of Underwater Filming was published. He continued the technical aspects of underwater photography equipment development with his design of the Tateishi Bronica Marine II. During 1967 and 1968, Tateishi filmed the wreck of the World War II Japanese ship, Kumano in the Philippines. Tateishi started the first scuba diving magazine in Japan, Marine Diving, in 1969.

He created a sensation in the photographic world of Japan when Tateishi published the first artistic nude photographs shot underwater. Tateishi published three books in 1973, titled Umi no Sakana (Fishes of the Sea), Okinawa no Sangosho (Coral Reefs in Okinawa) and a photography book titled Aoi Sekai no Nakamatachi. His influence on the technical advancement of underwater photography was further enhanced in 1975 with a new camera system he had designed, the Tateishi Canon Marine 16mm. In 1976 he was honored by having his work displayed in the Tokyo Museum. During 1978, Tateishi launched, Um to Shima no Tabi (Travel Diver Magazine). In 1988, Tateishi published Marine Photo, a magazine for Underwater photography. Mr. Tateishi is currently Editor-In-Chief of Marine Diving and Travel Diver Marine Photo Magazines, and President of Marine Art Center, Ltd., which publishes the magazines. For over 45 years of underwater photography, cinematography and contributions to diving, Akira Tateishi has received many honors and awards.
Dick Anderson

Dick Anderson It is the way Anderson has shared them with the diving community that has made him unique.

Best described as a witty, swashbuckling diver from the old school of adventure. Anderson has a rather unusual, but wonderfully healthy outlook on many aspects of diving. Just ask him his viewpoints on new, flashy diving equipment, fair weather divers, taking diving too seriously, or almost any other evolutionary change in diving.

Richard was born on Sept. 26, 1932 in Portland, Oregon, USA. He grew up in Santa Monica, CA and began skin diving and spear fishing in his early teens. Anderson graduated from the Sparling School of Deep Sea Diving in Wilmington, California in 1954. He became close friends with the School’s founder, Master Diver E.R. Cross. Anderson was a Safety Diver on the early deep submersible Submaray, owned and operated by Mart Toggweiler. A strong asset of Dick Anderson has been his insight in designing and building advanced new diving equipment. He went to work for Healthways, primarily in the technical aspects of design and production. He adapted the O-ring from the medical field into diving. Anderson integrated it into the first stage O-ring on the diving regulators at Healthways.

His long experience and engineering background were ideal in 1971 when he became Director of Research and Deveopment for White Stag, an early full-line diving manufacturing company. He has written numerous articles about diving, submersibles, undersea life and the lighter side of ocean technology. Anderson has also written many informative articles on diving personalities and how diving equipment is made. Anderson was Editor of Dive Magazine during the early 1960s. One of his specialties has been underwater photography. This led Anderson into underwater cinematography. Possibly the funniest underwater films ever produced are by Dick Anderson, including Mack The Diving Dog (a springer spaniel who dives for abalone shells), River Gold (spoof on divers pulling up huge gold nuggets from the Yuba River in California), Gold From The Windfield Scott (fooling divers with gold coins on a Californian shipwreck). His lectures, films and articles all bring a viewpoint of diving that can only come from the unique mind of Dick Anderson. He has put diving into an entirely new prospective, one that thousands enjoy. Honored Photographer Award at the International Underwater Film Festival (1970); NOGI Award for Arts from the Underwater Society of America (1970); and others.
Gerry Greenberg

Gerry GreenbergHe has developed new equipment, advanced shooting techniques and some of the greatest underwater photos ever shot. Greenberg is one of the most successful and knowledgeable underwater photographers.

Greenberg grew up in Chicago and became very interested in marine life through the Shedd Aquarium and the marine life exhibit at the Field Museum of Natural History. His early photography and sketches were done at these science attractions. National Geographic Magazine also provided him with knowledge, motivation and many ideas. Fortunately, his parents had a winter residence on Miami Beach. As a teenager, he began spearfishing along the jetties.

He learned how to scuba dive in 1951 and opened the world of underwater photography to him. Using his Leica with a 28mm lens in his own underwater housing, he was able to capture remarkable photos. In 1953 Greenberg began collaborating with Jordan Klein in designing and manufacturing underwater camera housings. Greenberg formed his own publishing company in 1956, and the the company concentrates on underwater field guides and diving books.

Greenberg had become an expert in underwater flash photography. He was featured in the June, 1960 issue of GE Photoflashes in an article titled “20,000 Flashbulbs Beneath The Sea.” In January 1962, Greenberg realized a ten-year dream with his first ull length cover story for National Geographic on Pennekamp Park. By this time, Greenberg had earned an international reputation, which produced many assignments with photo agencies, advertising firms, the U.S. Navy and many prestigious magazines around the world. By the early 1990s Greenberg recognized that Florida’s corals were in serious danger from pollution. He began documenting the destruction of the coral reefs through his underwater photography. Greenberg teamed with Fred Ward for an article, “The Coral Reefs of Florida Are Imperiled,” in the July 1990 National Geographic Magazine. In 1985 Greenberg began his infatuation with the mangrove areas of the Florida Keys. He has shot thousands of rolls of film to capture the amazing beauty and mystery of life in the mangroves and the estuaries that border them. Flat tunicates, upside-down jellyfish, baby barracuda, anemones, sponges, worms and crabs are captured in Jerry and Michael Greenberg’s photographs. They appear in the book, Mangroves: Trees in the Sea. The text was written by Idaz and her daughter, Mimi Young. The book was published in 2000.
Kendall McDonald

Kendall McDonaldKendall McDonald’s highly significant contribution to the growth of the sport has particularly been in the field of communication. His enthusiasm for the underwater world, expressed in more than 30 books, numerous TV appearances and radio programmes, and a multitude of by-lined articles for the world’s press, have spurred thousands of Britons to take up scuba diving.

He was the scriptwriter and presenter of the first British TV series about diving, introducing viewers to the “new sport” of diving. An early British Sub-Aqua Club member his number is 23 he fulfilled many roles within his own BSAC branch and within the Club’s National Diving Committee, before being elected to the highest role of all, that of Chairman of the BSAC. He carried out that work to such effect that he was elected Club Vice Present, an honour he values to this day.

After service in the Royal Armoured Corps, Kendall turned to journalism after his demobolisation, learning his trade on North of England newspapers before arriving in London and finally becoming a Fleet Street editor on the one-million-copies-a-night best seller, the London Evening News. His first contact with the underwater world came in 1949 when, on holiday in the South of France, he was taught to snorkel. Then, under the tutelage of France’s spearfishing champion Raymound Bethoux, he took up spearfishing.

His introduction to the aqualung put a stop to all that and his enthusiasm for diving with a lung began. And so did his authorship of books and articles about diving, which, as a long term and regular contributor to Britain’s DIVER Magazine, continues to this day.

Kendall was one of the main organizers of the 2nd World Congress of Underwater Activities in London in 1963, an event run by the BSAC under the patronage of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He was one of the first journalists to dive on the wreck of King Henry VIIIs famous warship Mary Rose, shortly after its discovery. And at the end of his BSAC chairmanship he roamed more freely along the world’s diving sites, introducing British divers to Florida, the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, and the Virgin Islands through his articles. Kendall and his wife, Penny, live in an 18th century cottage at Thurlestone, near Plymouth, Devon, whose cottage windows overlook three much-dived wreck sites!
Mike Ball

Mike BallMike Ball Dive Expeditions is the leading liveaboard dive company in Australia and Papua New Guinea and is synonymous with world class dive sites and exceptional customer service.

The company is now recognized as one of Australia’s most successful with 3 twin hull liveaboards. Catamaran designs have been chosen for all of the vessels to provide unsurpassed comfort and stability. Mike Ball is now recognised as one of Australia’s most successful diving pioneers and Mike Ball Dive Expeditions has many firsts to its credit:

1969 Started Dive School in Townsville
1969 First Australian dive school to use cylinder pressure gauges and BCD’s.
1981 Acquires the world’s first custom built twin hull dive vessel – ‘Watersport’
1981 Built what is still Australia’s most hi-tech dive shop and training facility
1986 Built ‘Supersport’ – which created a new standard in liveaboards
1989 Built ‘Spoilsport’ – which is Australia’s #1 liveaboard
1990 Expanded operations into Cairns
1992 Queensland Tourism Awards – Best Tour Operator
1996 Opened sales office in North America
1997 Expanded operations into Papua New Guinea
1997 World’s first formal Solo Diving program
1997 Built ‘Paradise Sport’ – most comfortable and luxurious liveaboard to operate in Papua New Guinea
2000 Centralised all operations to head office in Cairns

Two services unique to Mike Ball Dive Expeditions are the Safe Scuba System and the Safe Solo Program. With the Safe Scuba System, dive site selection is based on the best diving that can be found and not compromised by divers with less experience. Novice divers are given complimentary orientation dives by the staff to orientate them to the specific conditions while the more experienced divers are not restricted. Mike Ball Dive Expeditions introduced a formal Solo Diving Program on the vessels, which allow suitably experienced and equipped divers to dive on their own. This has proved extremely popular with underwater photographers and diving professionals who often have a need to dive without a buddy. These twin hull catamaran vessels provide more space and comfort with less rock and roll. Special services include one crewmember for every 3 guests, exceptional meals, underwater photo & video service, unlimited diving, nitrox and solo diving.
Capt. Spencer Slate

Capt Spencer SlateBorn 29 Dec 47 and grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C. Learned to dive on his own without certification, inspired by watching Mike Nelson (Lloyd Bridges) in Sea Hunt on TV. At that time there were no dive stores around so Spencer carried newspapers to earn money to pay for his scuba gear, and dove mostly in rock quarries and lakes.

Graduated from East Carolina University Greenville N.C. with a degree in business administration 1972, after graduation from college he moved to Jacksonville, Florida to teach high school. Finally earned his certification card in Jacksonville as no one would give him air without a c-card. After a couple of years working under William ‘Crawdaddy’ Crawford, became a YMCA Scuba instructor in 1977. Taught high school for 6 years in the business department at Paxon Sr. High School in Jacksonville, FLA - Was the Jacksonville YMCA SCUBA Training director for two years before moving to Key Largo - Started Capt. Slate’s Atlantis Dive Center Inc. in 1978, today the keys largest dive operator -Certified YMCA dive instructor since 1977 - Certified PADI instructor 1978 - NAUI Instructor since 1980 - Founding member in 1983 and President for 15 years of the Keys Association of Dive Operators - Co-founder 1985 and President of the Florida Assn. of Dive Operators - SSI Instructor since 1996 - IANTD Instructor since 1996 - Chairman of National Committee of the YMCA Scuba Program for 17 years - YMCA Instructor Trainer since 1982 - NAUI Course Director since 2000 -Over 10,000 logged dives -Over 1,000 logged night dives - Has taught most specialties offered for over 20 years - Authored many SCUBA diving training manuals -Was the project manager for 8 years securing the release of the Spiegel Grove LSD 32 from governmental agencies.
Chuck Blakeslee and Jim Auxier

Chuck Blakeslee and Jim AuxierAs young sport divers, the team of Chuck Blakeslee and his good friend Jim Auxier began one of the cornerstones of diving.

Working out of their homes and then a small office in Lynwood, CA, the two pioneers launched Skin Diver Magazine in December 1951.

This foremost dive magazine was the leading diving publication for fifty-one years, the last issue appearing in November 2002. The first issue was black and white throughout with a two-color cover. Including the covers, it contained 16 pages, two underwater photos and a few surface pictures. It was literally put together in the living room by Jim and Chuck. The cover price was 25 cents, or $3.00 for a one-year subscription.

They remained in Lynwood California until 1963. Jim Auxier was the first editor of the magazine, while Chuck was Advertising Manager. Chuck was the first President of the company and Jim was the Vice President. These positions were alternated each year. The two friends remained equal partners in every way, as co-publishers and co-owners of Skin Diver Publications, Inc., a California corporation. In October 1956, the title of the rapidly growing magazine was changed to Skin Diver Magazine.

Chuck and Jim were very active in the diving community, giving many lectures and also providing support to the two fledgling diver training organizations: the Los Angeles County Diving Instructor Program and NAUI.

Chuck Blakeslee and Jim Auxier received many awards and honours for their many years of contributions and service to the diving industry: the NOGI Award for Arts from Underwater Society of America (now presented by The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences) (1960); the DEMA Reaching Out Award, and were inducted into the Diving Hall of Fame (1994).
Frank Scalli

Frank ScalliFrank Scalli was born April 13, 1931 in Charlestown, MA. He has been a diving instructor and one of the leading marketing professionals of diving equipment for over 40 years.

Scalli began diving in 1953, after his discharge from the Army and attended the first national YMCA Skin and Scuba Diving Instructor Certification programme in 1959. He went on to become a scuba diving instructor and member of the boards of directors of the YMCA, NAUI and PADI, all at the same time.

He established and operated diver and instructor programs at twenty-two New England colleges and universities, including Harvard, M.I.T., the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis.

In 1956 Scalli joined the Boston Sea Rovers, later becoming their president and a founder of the Boston Sea Rovers’ annual Underwater Symposium, which served as a model for other diving groups.

Scalli joined U.S. Divers in 1961 as East Coast Marketing and Promotional Director. He transferred into sales in 1963 and received an award from U.S. Divers for attaining $1 million in sales per annum. In 1969 Scalli became National Sales Manager, a position he held until retirement in 1985. For his long dedication, he has received many awards and honours, including: the NOGI Award for Distinguished Service from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (1972); the Reaching Out Award and induction into the DEMA Hall of Fame (1992); and the Distinguished Service Award by the Cotting School for Handicapped Children.
Frederic Dumas

Frederic DumasFrederic Dumas was close friends with Jacques Yves Cousteau and Philippe Tailliez. The three pioneering divers were known as Les Mousqemers or the Three Musketeers.

These three and Hans Hass opened the aquatic world. Dumas wrote extensively about diving, ocean exploration and marine life in numerous articles and books.

Frederic Dumas was born on July 26, 1913 and became a champion competitive swimmer at a very young age. Dumas was a free diving legend before scuba. He was a brave, adventurous diver that pioneered many new diving techniques. Dumas did the initial testing of the AquaLung after its invention in 1943 by Jacques Cousteau and Emile Gagnan. He was the subject of many underwater photos and films shot by Cousteau. Several magazine covers showed underwater photos of Dumas including National Geographic and Life.

Dumas was especially interested in history from the sea and contributed significantly to marine archaeology. His home became a museum of artifacts recovered from his undersea explorations. This included marble columns and amphorae from Roman ships and ancient coins. Dumas was the first to learn from two old Greek coral divers about the ancient shipwreck at Grand Congloue near Marseilles, France. He was able to entice Cousteau and the Calypso Diving Team to excavate this 2,000-year-old Roman ship in 1952. This was the first extensive marine archaeology project that used scuba equipment. Frederic Dumas is easily recognizable in early diving films as the man in front of the camera. During Cousteau’s early film-making years, Frederic Dumas served as his primary support diver and model. With the invention of the AquaLung, word quickly spread about these “menfish.” By the mid-1950s, underwater photos of Frederic Dumas appeared in publications around the world. In 1953, the notes and logs of Cousteau and Dumas were turned into a book, The Silent World. Dumas was a prolific writer. His books are now considered classics in the field and include: The Silent World (1953 with Jacques Cousteau); The Complete Manual of Free Diving (1957 with others); Deep-Water Archaeology (1962); and 30 Centuries Under The Sea (1972).

In Dumas’ later years, his passion was underwater archaeology. The diving community has recognized Dumas for his many contributions to diving with numerous awards and honors including the NOGI Award for Distinguished Service in 2000.
Jean-Michel Cousteau

Jean-Michael CousteauJean-Michel Cousteau has used his vast experiences to communicate to people of all nations and generations his love and concern for our water planet.

Since the age of seven with newly invented SCUBA gear on his back, Jean-Michel has been exploring the ocean realm. The son of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel spent much of his life with his family exploring the world’s oceans aboard Calypso and Alcyone.

Jean-Michel pursued a degree in architecture, graduating from the Paris School of Architecture in 1964. He remains a member of the Ordre National des Architectes. Responding to his father’s call to ‘carry forward the flame of his faith,’Jean-Michel’s Ocean Futures Society, founded in 1999, a nonprofit marine conservation and education organization, serves as a ‘Voice for the Ocean’ by fostering a conservation ethic, conducting research, and developing marine education programs. Jean-Michel serves as an impassioned spokesman and diplomat for the environment, reaching out to the public through a variety of media. He has produced over seventy films, and has been awarded an Emmy, the Peabody Award, the 7 d’Or - the French equivalent of the Emmy, and the Cable Ace Award.

Today, as President of Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel travels the globe, meeting with world leaders and policy makers, both at the grassroots level and the highest echelons of government and business, educating young people, documenting stories of change and hope, and lending his reputation and support to help energise alliances for positive change. Through Ocean Futures Society, Jean-Michel continues to produce environmentally-oriented programmes and television specials, public service announcements, multimedia programs for schools, web-based marine content, books, articles for magazines and newspaper columns, and public lectures, reaching millions of people all over the world.

Jean-Michel has also been recently appointed to the Board of Directors of the Athens Environmental Foundation for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. On Earth Day 1997, Jean-Michel led the first undersea live, interactive, video chat on Microsoft Internet, from the coral reefs of Fiji, celebrating the International Year of the Reef. In April 1998, highlighting the International Year of the Ocean, Jean-Michel participated in a live downlink from the Space Shuttle Columbia to CNN New York.
Jordan Klein Sr.

Jordan Klein Sr.He is also an accomplished underwater photographer and cinematographer. Governments, film companies and educational institutions from around the world call on Klein for his services. In 1938 at age 10 Klein became interested in diving where he lived in Florida. Klein began making camera housings out of brass plates and silver, soldering them together. He designed and manufactured a series of underwater photo housings from 1948 through 1959. These included housings for Rolliflex, Bolex, Argus C-3, Leica and Stereo cameras. His interest in underwater photography naturally led to Klein designing, manufacturing and selling some of the most advanced camera housings of the time. These included housings for 35mm still cameras, and 8mm and 16mm movie cameras. He is credited to bringing underwater cinematography into national prominence for professional and amateur movie makers alike.

His contribution to early large screen underwater cinema is legendary. Over the last 50 years, he was involved in some of the first underwater pictures and has worked on over 75 feature films. For the James Bond movie Thunderball (1966), Klein was Director of Underwater Engineering and cameraman. Klein was co-winner of an Academy Award for design and construction of underwater props, set and special effects for Thunderball.

In addition, Klein has directed and filmed news, documentaries, technical testing and/or promotional films for many organizations and special groups.

Klein and his firms are credited with many other innovations. In 1967, he was co-developer of the CryoLung, a liquid air breathing device. It sustained a man three to four times longer than conventional scuba gear.
A sampling of the many movies Klein has worked on...

Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954)
Sea Hunt (1954-1963)
The Aquarians (1962)
Flipper (1963)
Thunderball (1966)
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Live and Let Die (1973)
Never Say Never Again (1983)
The Day of the Dolphin (1973)
Chips (1980)
Splash (1981)
Jaws (1983)
Cocoon (1985)
Miami Vice (1985)
The Abyss (1989)
China Moon (1990)
X-Files (1993)
Bermuda Triangle (1995)
SeaQuest (1999)
Bob Hollis

Bob HollisMore than 25 years ago, Bob Hollis and a partner started a company known as Oceanic. They made camera housings, strobes, strobe housings and various U/W photo accessories, for a budding industry. The company known as Oceanic is aptly named: it is the result of one man’s love of the sea. Bob Hollis was born in Orland, California. His fascination with the ocean began when he was working in Standard Oil’s engineering services division while earning a degree in mechanical engineering.

As did most of our diving pioneers, he became an avid hunter, collecting abalone and spearfishing. In 1956 he bought a two hose regulator and began scuba diving. At the same time he became friends with three underwater photographers. This was a brand new art and they made their own camera housings. Bob made a housing for his camera using Plexiglass. When the first electronic strobes came out in 1958, he made underwater housings for them as well. In 1966, Bob and Ray Collins opened a sporting goods, surfing, diving and fishing store called the Anchor Shack in Hayward, CA. (There would eventually be three stores.) They also sold a mail order line of Anchor Shack U/W photo equipment. The products, all hand made, included a camera tray and ball joint arms, along with strobe and camera housings. One of the most successful products was an aluminum housing for Nikon and Canon cameras known as the Hydro 35, some are still in use today.

In 1972, Oceanic was founded with the Anchor Shack photo line as its product base. Two years later the company’s building burned down. When it was being rebuilt in 1974 Bob bought out his partner and purchased machinery and tooling for a plastic housing that could be used for several products. Bob added products to the Oceanic line. There were lights, of course, but in the beginning there were also more photo products: lenses, carrying cases, a lightmeter, camera and strobe housings, extension tubes and framers.

Then, in 1976, Oceanic bought Farallon. That added fins, masks, snorkels, diver propulsion vehicles, knives, BCs and gauges, to the product line. Bob always knew the future of diving would be in electronics and in 1989 introduced the first Oceanic dive computers. Since then Oceanic has become known for leading the market with it’s line of dive computers. Bob Hollis has strived to serve the industry.

For several years he served on DEMAs executive committee. He also lobbied to have Federal OSHA laws rewritten to include the acceptance of Nitrox diving. Bob’s contributions to diving have made exploring the oceans safer and more enjoyable for millions worldwide.
David Doubilet

David DoubiletDavid Doubilet was born on August 28, 1946, in New York City. He began snorkeling at the age of eight in the cold, green seas off the northern New Jersey coast. By the age of thirteen, he was taking black and white pictures above and below the sea with his first camera - a pre-war Leica. Parts of summer and winter vacations were spent at Small Hope Bay Lodge on Andros Island in the Bahamas. He worked as a diving guide and on days off would take his camera. Doubilet later spent several summers working as a diver and photographer for the Sandy Hook Marine Laboratories in New Jersey.

He is presently a Contract Freelance Photographer for the National Geographic Society where he has been steadily working for twenty-seven years.

In 1965 Doubilet began studying film and journalism at Boston University’s College of Communication. He majored in still photography and graduated in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1988 he received their Distinguished Alumni of the Year award. Doubilet’s first work for National Geographic Magazine was published in 1972. Since then, as a Contract Photographer for NGM, he has produced over fifty stories for the magazine, in recent years adding author to his credit line of photographer. His work has taken him all over the globe. The Red Sea, his favorite “underwater studio”, has produced at least ten different stories for the magazine.

In 1975, he was named “Diver of the Year” by the Boston Sea Rovers, one of the diving world’s most honorable organizations. He has also received several honorable mentions by the National Press Photographer’s Association over the last decade. In 1993 he was honored in France by winning first place trophy in the Professional Category of an international contest sponsored by C.M.A.S. (World Underwater Federation); and by appearing as Guest of Honor at the 20th World Festival of Underwater Photography in Cap D’Antibes.

Doubilet’s first book, Light in the Sea, was published in 1989 followed by Pacific: an undersea journey in 1992, Under the Sea from A to Z written by Anne L. Doubilet with photographs by David Doubilet was published in 1991and his most recently published book, Pacific: An Undersea Journey, a compilation of 25 years of underwater photography. From 1994 through 1996 he was the author of a popular monthly feature entitled “Magnificent Moments”, including text and photography, in Japan’s SINRA Magazine.
Ivan Tors

Ivan TorsKnown as the man who created Sea Hunt. Ivan launched his carreer in filmmaking during the early 1940’s with his first story ‘Below the Deadline’ continuing with films shot above the waterline until 1958 when he pioneered underwater cinematography with Underwater Warrior. This opened the door to the 1958 classic TV series “Sea Hunt” starring Lloyd Bridges, paving the way for future innovations in underwater cinematography.

In the 1960’s he made Flipper, a film that has inspired adults and children alike to discover the underwater world. Continuing on this theme he made Flipper’s New Adventure in 1964 and in the same year created the famous TV series “Flipper”. During 1966 Ivan filmed Namu, the Killer Whale and Around the World Under the Sea, filming Hello Down There in 1969. During the 1970’s Ivan was responsible for the TV series The Aquarians, Primus (1971) and Salty in 1974.

Ivan Tours contribution to the creative development and innovation in the specialized world of underwater cinematography is vast considering the period during the 1950’s when very few ventured forth into the underwater kingdom, least of all carrying movie equipment with them. It is with this in mind that makes Ivan Tors such an outstanding figure in the world of underwater cinematography, his films have inspired generations of people to investigate and understand the underwater world for themselves.
John Cronin

John CroninBorn in Albany, New York in 1928. John J. Cronin has become one of the diving industry’s most prominent figures, with over 30 years of experience in bringing people into the activity of scuba diving as the founder and CEO of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). Cronin also served as President of the Board of Directors for the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA).

Cronin’s history in diving dates back to 1954, when he began his diving career as a sport diver and dive retailer. By 1956 he had started his own dive-training program, training hundreds of divers. In the early 1960’s Cronin took a job with U.S.D. Corp., a holding company that owned several companies in scuba diving, fire-fighting equipment, industrial safety, industrial eye wear and specialty gas businesses. His career with the company lead him to Chicago in 1961, where he became the mid-western sales manager for U.S. Divers. By 1969 he had packed his bags and moved west to Santa Ana, CA, to accept his appointment as Executive Vice President and CEO of U.S.D Corp. It was in 1966 that Cronin in conjunction with Ralph Erickson founded the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, or PADI as a scuba diving training company. Today, PADI is the world’s largest single entity in the diving industry with 1999 retail sales of PADI products in excess of US$250 million dollars. PADI has over 100,000 professional instructor and retail members worldwide, operates in 175 countries, and has affiliate subsidiaries in several countries. In 2000 PADI certified over 1,000,000 sport divers.
Paul Tzimoulis

Paul TzimoulisTzimoulis became Eastern Sales representative and Associate Editor in 1964. In 1966, at the age of 29, Paul was named Editor/Publisher of Skin Diver. For many years he guided Skin Diver during its largest growth period, with many publishing innovations and contributions to diving. After 34 years with Skin Diver, Tzimoulis retired as Vice President, Executive Publisher and Group Publisher for the Photography/Marine Division of Petersen Magazine Network, which publishes Skin Diver.

Not one for sitting on his laurels, Tzimoulis returned from retirement to become Publisher and Editorial Director of Sport Diver Magazine. He has greatly helped protect the legal rights of sport divers and protect the ocean environment. Within just a few years he had accumulated a tremendous amount of diving, writing, photography, knowledge about the diving industry and an admirable ability in business management.

His excellent underwater photography has appeared in many magazines, including Skin Diver, U.S. Camera, Underwater Naturalist, Leisure, Carte Blanche, Argosy, Sea Venture and several other leading publications. He has won numerous honors and tributes for his underwater photography work at film festivals. He has one of the country's most complete photographic and research files on diving. Over the years, Tzimoulis has been the Master of Ceremonies of countless underwater film festivals.

Tzimoulis has conducted Underwater Photography Seminars and courses in many parts of the world and written numerous articles on the subject.

He also co-authored a classic book on underwater photography with Hank Frey, entitled Camera Below (Association Press, 1968), one of the first books published on underwater photography. He was a prolific writer on many other ocean subjects.

In addition to his wide range of other professional activities, Tzimoulis has been an active participant in many aspects of the diving community, including: Chairman, Leonard Greenstone Diving Safety Award Selection Committee, and several others.

He was an active member of the Underwater Photographic Society, National Oceanography Association, National Association of Underwater Instructors, Cannon Hunters of Seattle, Professional Association of Diving Instructors, CEDAM International, International Oceanographic Foundation and the American Littoral Society. Tzimoulis was also on the Board of Directors of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame and The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (Chairman).

During his over five decades of contribution to diving, Paul Tzimoulis has received many awards and honors: the Diver Of The Year Award presented by the Boston Sea Rovers (1966); Honored Photographer from the International Underwater Film Festival (1968); the NOGI Award For Sports from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (1969); Hall of Fame Undersea Photography Award, Hawaii (1971); Oceanus Award - Our Future In Depths Arts Award (1977); Underwater Photographic Society Outstanding Achievement Award (1978); Sir Turtle Award from the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (1983); Reaching Out Award and induction into the DEMA Hall of Fame (1997); PADI Outstanding Achievement Award (1998); induction into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (2001); and many others.

Paul Tzimoulis and Geri Murphy worked together beginning in 1975. They were married in 1987.

(This biography adapted from Ed Cargile’s Pioneers in Diving.)
Zale Parry

Zale ParryBorn in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; elder of seven children. Pioneer skin diver 1947 / scuba 1951; aquatic specialist; early underwater equipment tester for Scientific Underwater Research Enterprises; hyperbaric science/research partner; Sports Illustrated cover girl May 1955: one of first certified scuba instructors; Intl. Film Festival co-founder/coproducer 1957. As an accomplished underwater photographer, Zale was elected first woman President of the U/W Photographic Society 1960.

She is known as someone ultimately involved, who made a difference, and who encouraged thousands of people, men as well as women, to experience the underwater world. She was a student of Theatre Arts UCLA and Twenty Century Fox Studio with Agnes Moorehead. SAG & AFTRA member since 1954 (list of credits incl. Kingdom of the Sea, Sea Hunt, GE Theatre, Wagon Train, Peter Gunn, and more. On call for all studios for performance with scuba. Over two dozen wet and dry television commercials; The Underwater Academy of Arts and Sciences’ NOGI Distinguished Service Award 1973; DEMA’s Reaching Out Award 1993; Women’s Scuba Association, Scuba Diver of the Year 1999; Women’s Scuba Hall of Fame 1999; National Association of Underwater Instructors Hall of Fame 2000. NOGI Board of Directors 2001; Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation Education Award 2001. With Albert Tillman, co-authored Scuba America Vol. I , The Human History of Sport Diving in America which premiered in January 2001.

Chosen by Executive Order October 2001 to be The Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences’ “Ambassador at Large”...a lifelong appointment. Selected for induction into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame 2002 by the Board of Governors of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, bestowed by The Honorable W. McKeeva Bush, OBE., JP., Leader of Government Business, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Development and Commerce for the Cayman Islands Government.
Al Giddings

Al GiddingsNever settling for off-the-shelf technology, Giddings constantly designs innovative camera, lighting and optical systems in film and video formats, from IMAX to high definition.

Giddings is known for his underwater directing and shooting of such highly-acclaimed films as The Deep, the James Bond classics For Your Eyes Only & Never Say Never Again, and The Abyss, 20th Century Fox’s blockbuster. Giddings served as co-producer/director of underwater photography on Jim Cameron’s 1997 Oscar-winning spectacular, Titanic. His IMAX production, Whales, is garnering national attention and setting attendance records.

Giddings’ work in television has earned him several Emmys, including work on ANDREA DORIA; the 1996 co-production of Galapagos: Beyond Darwin, for the Discovery Channel; and Blue Whale: Largest Animal On Earth for the American Broadcasting Company’s World of Discovery. Three television specials, Blue Whale, Shark Chronicles and Mysteries Of The Sea, each earned Emmy Awards.

Numerous music videos and television commercials have also won Emmy Awards; gold medals at the New York Film Festival; the American Film Institute’s Best Video of the Year, and a Grierson Award.
Albert Tillman

Albert TillmanAlbert A. Tillman’s involvement in the diving community is legendary.

Beginning in 1938, at the tender age of 10 he took his first free dive and has spent his lifetime contributing to the field. He designed and founded the first organized instructor certification program (Los Angeles County) with Bev Morgan in 1954 and went on to found the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) with Neal Hess and John C. Jones in 1960.

As an editor for Skin Diver Magazine and Dive Magazine, his writing credits include thousands of articles on diving and numerous books. He recently published, I Thought I Saw Atlantis: Reminiscences of a Pioneer Skin and Scuba Diver. Tillman gained experience in the medium of television as the technical advisor for ZIV television for the series Sea Hunt, and expanded into film by co-founding the International Underwater Film Festival and Underwater Photographic Society.

Albert Tillman has held instructor trainer certifications with numerous agencies, has served as a Southwest regional director for the YMCA underwater program, and founded and built UNEXSO in the Bahamas. He has received the NOGI award, DEMA Hall of Fame induction and “Reaching Out” Award.
Ben Cropp

Ben CroppHis first films - on shark hunting - proved to be highly successful, and sold worldwide.

In 1964, Cropp won the coveted world Underwater Photographer of the Year, following in the footsteps of Hans Hass and Jacques-Yves Cousteau, and the same became the first Australian producer to sell to the giant US networks.

After making several specials for the United States’ NBC and ABC, Cropp released into syndication 12 episodes of the series The Coral Jungle, hosted by Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame. Another series of 10 specials around Australia, entitled ThisRugged Coast, were sold worldwide. Cropp then made 15 one-hour films for The Disney Channel, one of which, The Young Adventurers, was nominated for an Emmy Award.

To date, Cropp has filmed and produced over 100 wildlife adventure documentaries, all sold worldwide. Cropp’s documentaries are a mixture of underwater wildlife and adventure. His most successful was March of the Crabs. Recent productions are on dugong, the deadly box jellyfish and sea snakes. Ben’s two sons feature in most of his films, and have become skillful cameramen.

Cropp lives in Port Douglas, Australia where he operates a Shipwreck Museum. He has discovered more than 100 shipwrecks, including the Pandora, Australia’s most important.

In 1999 Cropp was awarded an Order of Australia AM for his marine and coastal conservation work and promotion and awareness of the Australian marine environment as a documentary filmmaker.
Bernard Eaton

Bernard EatonIn 1962, Eaton was invited by Peter Small, co-founder of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) and the principal organizer of the Congress, to help publicize the Second World Congress of Underwater Activities in London. Shortly afterwards, Small invited Eaton to become his partner in a venture to turn the BSAC’s magazine, Triton, into a meaningful diving publication for open market sale. In 1963, Eaton took over full control of Triton, after Peter Small’s untimely death in December of 1962.

To promote the sport of diving Eaton turned Triton into Diver, the most successful diving magazine in Great Britain and has organized 10 international underwater conferences and film festivals. He wrote the blueprint for Oceans 2000, the Third World Congress of Underwater Activities, and organized no fewer than 21 dive exhibitions/shows in England and Scotland.

Among Eaton’s major achievements has been founding Britain’s Marine Conservation Society, which promotes the protection of the marine environment throughout the world, and has Prince Charles as its President. He was the Society’s Chairman for the first seven years and is now a Vice President.
Bob Soto

Bob SotoThe Cayman Islands are recognized as the birthplace of Caribbean recreational diving, world-wide, a historic event that is attributed to Bob Soto, who established the Caribbean’s first dive operation on Grand Cayman in 1957.

Soto’s introduction into diving came during World War II when he went to work in the United States for the US Navy. He started as a diver tender on a salvage tug, progressing to assistant diver and then to hard hat diver. After the war, Soto joined the Merchant Marines, giving him the opportunity to dive in many places, such as the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and the waters off South America. Returning home he realized that the underwater scenery in Cayman was ‘second to none’.

Soto established a diving school in the Cayman Islands for the tourism market. Soto created his own equipment and promotional diving videos to assist the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and diving clubs throughout the United States, as well as introducing the first “live-aboard” trips.

Soto, known as the “father of diving,” continues his interest in marine and environmental conservation and was instrumental in marine laws being put in place in 1986. He is very knowledgeable of the development of these islands and the constant geographical movement of the land and the sea. He continues to campaign for more stringent laws to try and preserve marine life. In 1996 he was given the ‘Marine Conservation Award’ for his valiant efforts. Soto was made a Member of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for his various life long contributions.
Emile Gagnan

Emile GagnonEmile Gagnan was born in France and after graduating from technical school, went to work as an engineer for a large gas-supply firm. Gagnan was a prolific inventor and had developed everything from mechanical razors to butane regulators for automotive fuel systems.

His superior had instructed him to cooperate with undersea explorer, Jacques Cousteau in any way, as his father-in-law was on the Board of Directors. Cousteau had been looking for a way to allow divers to remain underwater for several hours. Gagnan had just put together a regulator that would allow the use of cooking gas in an automobile. Gagnan and Cousteau decided that the cooking gas regulator was probably a better idea than the high-altitude breathing regulator. So with minor adaptations, this regulator became what Cousteau coined as "Aqua-Lung," the beginning of the modern-day SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus).

In 1943, Emile and Cousteau perfected the Aqua Lung and Cousteau and his team of divers began underwater testing in the Mediterranean Sea. A century-old dream became reality - the first automatic autonomous diving suit, equipped with pressure regulator and compressed air bottles, gave the diver complete independence of movement.

The Aqua-Lung used cylinders of compressed air and was equipped with a demand regulator, which adjusted the air pressure automatically, and supplying air as the diver needed it. With some variations and some major improvements the Cousteau-Gagnan Aqua-Lung open-circuit system is still universally used today.

Its simple design and solid construction provided a reliable and low-cost unit for sport diving. The device revolutionized man’s perception of the planet. Not unlike the Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese explorers of the fifteenth century who doubled their knowledge of the size of the world, Cousteau and Gagnan helped open a vast portion of the globe to human exploration. They offered the opportunity for extensive undersea investigation to enthusiastic scientists, engineers, and sportsmen.

In 1946, the first production models of the Aqua Lung were manufactured and sold in France . A year later, Emile and his family immigrated to Montreal, Canada, where he set up his workshop and later introduced the Aqua Lung to the United States. He continued his research and developed further inventions that have helped make scuba diving what it is today.
Ellis Royal (E.R.) Cross

Ellis Royal CrossStarting his career in the United States Navy in 1947, Cross became owner and operator of the Sparling School of Deep Sea Diving in California, where he trained many commercial, open sea, research and other specialty divers. He also instructed many diving clubs and groups in safe diving procedures.

In 1956, he sold the shop and bought a 60-foot schooner, outfitted it with the most sophisticated diving equipment and tools, and embarked on an educational-exchange cruise to areas where there was a high rate of diving accidents. Cross worked with the Mexican government in writing several diver training manuals, taught medical personnel in the use of the hyperbaric chamber for treating bends and assisted in the planning of the Navy diving school in Acapulco.

Cross has written various books and numerous articles related to diving and underwater photography and filming. He has served as Technical Editor of Water World Magazine, editor of Hawaiian Shell News, and was a columnist for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling and Skin Diver Magazine. Cross also received the Underwater Society of America’s NOGI Award, the TRITON Award from the Hawaii Council of Diving Clubs and a Smithsonian Institution Award.
Gustav Dalla Valle

Gustav Dall ValleGustav Dalla Valle was born in Northern Italy. Fascinated by the sea, he started to free dive in the Mediterranean Sea in his youth. A citizen of the world, he loved to travel and pioneered diving tourism in Haiti. Representing the Cressi-line of diving equipment, he joined Dick Klein’s Healthways, helping to stimulate interest in championship spear fishing. Gustav was responsible for placing the “Christ of the Abyss” statue on the reefs of the Florida Keys.

Early in the beginning days of diving, Gustav created SCUBAPRO, the first company to seriously challenge Cousteau’s US Divers dominance in the industry. His company, through his ideas, elevated the dignity and popularity of diving everywhere, and his presence illuminated every affair that involved him.

He retired to create one of the world’s finest wineries, Dalla Valle Vineyards in Napa Valley, California. Gustav Dalla Valle was one of the most colorful and illustrious pioneers in the diving industry.
Hans and Lotte Hass

Hans and Lotte HassHans was fascinated with the underwater world he saw through his first goggles, and decided that he wanted to devote his life to studying it. Hans took his first underwater photos while free diving in Dalmatia in 1938; his first book “Hunting Underwater” was published the following year.

Wife Lotte began as his assistant, seizing the opportunity to dive when one of the cameramen left an early project. She soon became an essential part of these expeditions, bringing a fresh perspective to the filming process, as she proved that a woman could do at least as well underwater as a man could.

Hans Hass was a pioneer underwater photographer, filmmaker and scientist, studying for his Doctorate in marine biology at the zoological station in Naples. In 1949 Hans visited Port Sudan, where he dived alone, having been told by all the experts that he would surely be eaten by the famous Red Sea sharks. By 1950 he returned with another team of six, including Lotte. Together they made the film “Adventure in the Red Sea”, or “Under the Red Sea” as it later became known. The film won first prize for major documentaries at the Venice Bienniele film festival in 1951.

Hass has published many books, including “Aus der Pionierzeit des Tauchens’’ (“From The Pioneering Days Of Diving”), and has made more than 100 films about the underwater world. Among many awards they have won, are those from the Historical Diving Society.
Jack W. Lavanchy

Jack W. LavanchyIn 1964, Lavanchy became the exclusive agent of the diving equipment La Spirotechnique in Switzerland, on the heels of seeing Jaques Cousteau’s film, “Le Monde Sans Soleil.”

These events helped to launch him into the diving world.

Lavanchy was active in Glaukos, the oldest diving club in Switzerland, serving throughout the years as Vice President, President, Secretary, Head of the technical committee. He was the Club’s delegate in the Swiss Diving Federation, worked in the Technical Commission and attended most of the CMAS General Assemblies. Lavanchy was a fervent supporter of simplicity and safety in teaching methods, and supported the development of the CMAS Scientific Commission.

Jack McKenny

Jack McKennyA NAUI instructor since 1963 (NAUI 304) and a PADI master instructor, he moved to the Bahamas for three years where he helped to open the Underwater Explorers Club in 1965.

He worked as a program director, dive instructor, and dive guide at the club until 1967. In 1971 he was awarded the Midwest Underwater Photographer of the Year award by the Universal Diving School of Chicago; in 1974, the Boston Sea Rovers “Diver of the Year” award; and in 1975, the “Our World” Underwater award.

McKenney was instrumental in initiating and instructing underwater photo classes in the early 70’s. McKenney had his work published in many different books and magazines including National Geographic. While Editor of Skin Diver Magazine, McKenney traveled around the world to report on dive conditions and activities. McKenney also published a book entitled Dive To Adventure. McKenney produced more than 30 underwater documentaries in his lifetime, five of which were for DEMA (Diving Equipment Manufacturers Association).

McKenney also worked as a stuntman and underwater cameraman for Hollywood movies such as Sharks Treasure and The Deep and produced a 13-part television series entitled Dive to Adventure, pioneering underwater programming for the Discovery Channel. McKenney made 50 dives on the sunken liner Andrea Doria and in 1981 was the lead underwater photographer for Peter Gimbel’s TV special.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau

Jacque-Yves CousteauA 1930 graduate of the Naval School, Jacques-Yves Cousteau left the French Navy in 1957 with the rank of corvette captain after having organized, with Philippe Tailliez, the French Navy’s underwater study and research group.

By 1936, Cousteau was testing several prototypes of breathing apparatus. In 1943, with Emile Gagnan, he invented and manufactured the one-piece compressed-air diving suit that made it possible for man to explore the sea.

To many, Jacques-Yves Cousteau is forever connected with the Calypso, that former minesweeper built in the United States and converted into an oceanographic research ship in 1950. In 1951,with André Laban, he perfected under-water television equipment before setting off on many fruitful scientific cruises: to the coasts of Greece, the Black Sea, the Atlantic, and the Indian Ocean, then the three-and-a-half-year voyage across the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Bering Strait. He undertook the excavation of an old wreck off Marseilles and conducted various experiments with “houses under the sea” off Marseilles and in the Red Sea, where six men spent three weeks at a depth of 330 feet.

Captain Cousteau also made marvelous films of under-water life, which involved unprecedented and daring feats. He helped the public learn of the life of sharks, whales, and dolphins, making them a little better acquainted with the enchantment of the underwater world.
Dr Jefferson David, M.D.

Dr Jefferson Davis, MDThrough his research in the application of hyperbaric oxygen, he pioneered its use in the treatment of decompression sickness and air embolism in both military and civilian divers.

Dr. Davis received his M D. degree from the University of Missouri and his Master’s in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley. He then studied diving medicine at the US Navy Experimental Diving unit in Washington, DC. During the Vietnam War, he was Director of Base Medical Services and Flight Surgeon at Phu Cat Air Base, Vietnam.

In 1974 he founded the USAF Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, where he conceived, implemented and established the first major program in the US to apply and study the therapeutic effects of hyperbaric oxygen. In 1979 Dr. Davis retired from the USAF as a full colonel and chief flight surgeon after 20 years of service. Following his retirement he was appointed National Consultant in Hyperbaric Medicine to the Surgeon General USAF.

Dr. Davis was the epitome of a dedicated physician. He was not satisfied to only practice medicine, which he did with skill and compassion, but also contributed much to the great needs of the diving, aerospace, and hyperbaric medicine communities. He was the Medical Program Director for Medical Seminars, Inc., which organized seminars in diving medicine for physicians around the world. One of his last positions was as medical consultant to the space program, and he chaired a NASA committee planning the necessary hyperbaric facility on the first US space station.
Lloyd Bridges

Lloyd BridgesLloyd Bridges was an accomplished actor of stage and screen (including “High Noon,” “A Walk In The Sun” and “The Rainmaker”), and becoming one of Hollywood’s busiest actors with such live TV drama as “Alcoa Hour,” “Climax,” “Playhouse 90,” and “U.S. Steel Hour.”

He became a household name when he took the role of Mike Nelson in the exceptionally successful TV series, Sea Hunt. As Nelson, a former United States Navy frogman, Bridges traveled the southeastern part of America and the Caribbean as a do-good underwater “sheriff”. When the show ended in 1961 after 156 episodes, Sea Hunt had introduced millions of people all over the world to the new activity of scuba diving (including his own children, Beau, Jeff and Lucinda).

Bridges continued to pursue a successful acting career throughout his life, occasionally performing with his sons. At the Hollywood Bowl, he narrated “Peter and the Wolf” and “Carnival of the Animals” (for which his wife, Dorothy, wrote the accompanying verses) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. This program, plus “Lincoln Portrait” was repeated in Washington, New York, and London.

He was also passionately involved in organizations which helped to improve the state of the environment, including: Heal The Bay, Whales Alive, Earthtrust, Environmental Defense Fund, The Wilderness Society, Sierra Club, and American Oceans Campaign.
Ron and Valerie Taylor

Ron and Valerie TaylorBorn in Sydney, Australia, Ron and Valerie Taylor began diving in the 1950s. Both became Australian spearfishing champions and Ron a world spearfishing champion, then turning from hunting to marine conservation.

Ron concentrated on making his own housings for his hobby of underwater photography. He won The Encyclopedia Britannica Award for news photography in 1962, with news clip “Playing with Sharks” received the first of many awards.

In 1966 Ron received both top honors at the International Underwater Film Festival in Santa Monica, and the Underwater Society of America NOGI award for education and sports. Valerie also won a NOGI, for the arts. Between them the Taylors have won more than a dozen international photography awards, including the prestigious American Nature Photographer of the Year and the Jury Award at the Antibes festival. They have written several books and produced dozens of documentaries. Ron, the first person to shoot footage of a white shark in its natural element, shot the live shark footage in Jaws, Jaws 2 and many other movies.

In 1967 Ron conceived the idea of wearing a chain mail suit as shark protection, and in 1979, filmed Valerie testing the suit in the wild, which became the subject of a National Geographic cover story and three documentaries. It also enabled the Taylors to record sharks attacking a human.

Valerie is an advisor to the Australian Minister of Fisheries on marine conservation, and has been instrumental in aiding in the protection of numerous areas and several species.
Stan Waterman

Stan WatermanStan Waterman has been at the forefront of Scuba Diving since its inception as a recreational sport both in this country and throughout the world.

Between 1954 and 1958 he operated a dive business in the Bahamas with a boat he had built especially for diving. In 1965, Waterman took his entire family to Tahiti, which launched their careers as television stars when National Geographic purchased the rights to air his film of that yearlong experience.

Waterman was associate producer and underwater cameraman on the classic shark film, Blue Water, White Death. He was co-director of underwater photography on The Deep, and has produced documentaries for ABC’s “Spirit of Adventure” series and the “Expedition Earth” series on ESPN. He and his oldest son won the first father and son Emmy for the National Geographic Explorer production, Dancing With Stingrays.
Sylvia Earl, Ph. D.

Slyvia Earl, Ph.D.She holds degrees from Florida State University, and Duke University, and was a Radcliffe Institute Scholar, a Research Fellow at Harvard University, and Research Associate at the University of California, Berkeley.

Throughout her career, Dr. Earle has been a leader and pioneer in her field, and has led more than 50 expeditions worldwide involving in excess of 6,000 hours underwater in connection with her research. She led the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970 and holds a depth record for solo diving (1000 meters).

In 1990 she was appointed Chief Scientist of NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) where she served until 1992, when she founded Deep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER) - now DOER Marine Operations, of which she is Chairman - to design, operate, support, and consult on manned and robotic sub sea systems. She is the leader of the Sustainable Seas Expeditions, a five-year study of the National Marine Sanctuaries

Author of more than 100 publications concerning marine science and technology including the 1995 book, Sea Change, she has participated in numerous television productions and given scientific, technical, and general interest lectures in more than 60 countries. Dr. Earle serves on various boards, foundations and committees relating to marine research, policy and conservation, and has received awards from organizations throughout the world.