October 16, 2021

Cayman Islands International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame class of 2017

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hof2016_01_12xThe Cayman Islands announces new inductees for 2017 International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame at DEMA 2016

Individuals recognised for their advancements to the sport of diving

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, November 17, 2016 – On Thursday, November 17, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) announced the newest additions to the prestigious International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF) for 2017 at the annual Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) trade show in Las Vegas. New inductees Dick Bonin, Gardner Young, Krov Menuhin and Kurt Schaefer will join an esteemed roster of pioneers in the dive industry as part of ISDHF. The new honourees will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame during a special awards ceremony and dinner to be held in Grand Cayman on September 29, 2017.

Established by the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism in 2000, ISDHF celebrates those who have contributed to the success and growth of recreational scuba diving through advancements in dive tourism, equipment design and innovation, underwater filmmaking, and the historical significance of the dive industry.

“Year after year, the Cayman Islands International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame recognises the trailblazers in the field of diving,” said Deputy Premier and Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Moses Kirkconnell. “Since its creation, ISDHF has inducted some of the world’s greatest leaders in the industry and as a result of their dedicated efforts, the sport has introduced the most innovative and reliable scuba diving equipment and techniques to-date, enabling our visitors to explore Cayman’s unforgettable dive sites more efficiently than ever before.”

“It’s always a privilege to work alongside some of the legendary dive pioneers and it brings me joy to welcome the newest inductees for 2017,” added Mr. Leslie Leaney, Executive Director of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. “Their contributions continue to inspire future generations of divers and the Hall of Fame preserves their legacies for years to come both in the Cayman Islands and worldwide.”

The complete list of 2017 inductees, along with each of their noted contributions earning them the prestigious ISDHF accolade, is outlined below:

Dick Bonin (USA, honoured posthumously)
Dick Bonin is recognised as one of the industry’s leaders in advancing dive equipment. After serving in the U.S. Navy as part of an Underwater Demolition Team in the 1950s and inspired by his many military dives, he refocused his efforts on redesigning dive equipment to better the industry. At the height of his career, he led SCUBAPRO where he manufactured products including the Mark V regulator and introduced the Jet Fin to the field.

After retiring from SCUBAPRO, he served as Executive Director for the Diving Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (DEMA, later the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association). Bonin is also the recipient of DEMA’s Reaching Out Award, the Historical Diving Society Pioneer Award, and the YMCA Safety Contributions Award, among others.

Gardner Young (Bahamas)
Regarded for his achievements in popularising dive tourism in the Bahamas, Gardner Young co-founded the first tourist dive training operation in the destination with his business partner, Charlie Badeau in 1957. As part of the dive training operation, Young created the first “Resort Course,” one of the most important contributions to dive resorts today. The creation of the “Resort Course” helped to garner awareness for scuba diving worldwide and served as a prototype programme for future dive-centric properties.

Additionally, Young was instrumental in positioning the Bahamas as a leading underwater film location for feature productions including “Flipper” and many of the early James Bond movies. He provided dive support and often served as an acting double for actors and musicians including Sean Connery and Ringo Starr.

Krov Menuhin (Australia)
Renowned for his contributions to the underwater film industry, Krov Menuhin’s expansive media career has taken him to all corners of the globe working for BBC, French TV, Canal Plus and TF 1 in France. His top accomplishments as a filmmaker include capturing the first footage of a Blue Whale swimming underwater in the film “Giants of the Vermillion Sea” (1974). He also served as director, subject originator, cameraman, and aircraft pilot for “Ushuaia,” one of the most successful natural history programmes for TF 1 French Television.

Menuhin now serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Historical Diving Society and is Chairman of the Hans Hass Fifty Fathoms Award Committee.

Kurt Schaefer (Austria)
Kurt Schaefer is most recognised for his work for the underwater film industry through his innovative equipment designs. During the early 1940s, he designed and custom manufactured underwater still and film camera housings for famous diving pioneer, Hans Hass. The equipment enabled Hass to shoot “Under the Red Sea” (1951) and other scuba diving films. During this time, Schaefer also developed the idea for an amphibious camera and constructed the model from melted downed WWII aircraft. In 1946, he manufactured the camera and shot “Lights Underwater – Wonders of the Sea” (1952), which is recognised as one of the first underwater colour movies.

Today, most of Schaefer’s underwater cameras are prototypes and remain on permanent display and in the archives of Aquazoo – Löbbecke Museum in Germany, reopening March 2017.

To learn more about the 2017 ISDHF inductees, please visit the following link: visitcaymanislands.com/eventsoffers/scubadivinghalloffame.aspx.

The Cayman Islands features some of the world’s best diving excursions, with each of the three islands offering different diving adventures for all skill levels. Having received countless awards for Best Overall Dive Destination in the Caribbean and Atlantic, the Cayman Islands is also home to the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, recognising dive industry pioneers since its inception in 2000. The destination is also renowned for its calm clear waters, which offer superb visibility for snorkelling and other underwater experiences.

Located 480 miles south of Miami in the vibrant tranquillity of western Caribbean, this trio of tiny islands is a premier destination for discriminating travellers, divers, honeymooners and families. World renowned for its idyllic beaches and recognised as a sophisticated, diverse and memorable tourist destination, the Cayman Islands offers spectacular recreational opportunities along with warm, impeccable service. To learn more about the Cayman Islands, please go to visitcaymanIslands.com or www.divecayman.ky or call your local travel agent.


– HOF2016-05: (L-R) Kristin Valette, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, PADI; Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI; and Leslie Leaney, Executive Director, International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.

– HOF2016-08: (L-R) Leslie Leaney, Executive Director, ISDHF; Kristin Valette, Chief Marketing Officer, PADI Worldwide; Peter Hughes, ISDHF Member; Howard Rosenstein, ISDHF Member; Dr. Drew Richardson, President and CEO, PADI Worldwide; ISDHF Member Bill Acker; ISDHF Member Carl Roessler; ISDHF Member Ron Kipp; ISDHF Member Bill High; ISDHF Member Stuart Cove; ISDHF Member Chuck Nicklin; General Manager, USA Cayman Islands Department of Tourism, Tom Ludington.

– HOF2016-01: Leslie Leaney, Executive Director, ISDHF

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