October 17, 2021

The Cayman Islands’ International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame’s Leslie Leaney to receive DEMA’s 2016 Reaching Out Award

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isdhof-induction-09-137Leaney to be recognised at DEMA Awards Party for his outstanding contributions to the dive industry

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, October 3, 2016 – The Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) and the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF) are pleased to congratulate Leslie Leaney, Executive Director of ISDHF, on his recognition as a recipient of the 2016 Reaching Out Award. The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association’s (DEMA) Reaching Out Award honours leaders and pioneers in the dive industry for their remarkable contributions to the success and growth of the sport and dive community.

“Mr. Leaney has partnered with the Cayman Islands for many years through the ISDHF and his leadership has been instrumental in helping that organization grow and celebrate the sport of scuba diving. Mr. Leaney brings a wealth of knowledge to the ISDHF Board to expand our global goals,” said the Deputy Premier, Minister of Tourism and ISDHF Chairman, Mr. Moses Kirkconnell. “Leslie is most deserving of this prestigious recognition.”

During the 28th annual DEMA show, Mr. Leaney will be honoured at the Awards Party taking place at The Joint at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas on November 18, 2016. He will be joined by fellow honouree, Lad Akins of the Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF), who will be acknowledged for his conservation efforts and work with the invasive lionfish species.

“It is both an honour and a privilege to be recognized by DEMA for my contributions to the sport of diving,” said Leslie Leaney, Executive Director of ISDHF. “Throughout my time in the industry, I have been fortunate to not only learn from divers before me, but able to pass on their skills and knowledge to others, allowing me to help preserve the diving heritage of the Cayman Islands for years to come.”

Mr. Leaney is renowned for his preservation of dive history through his dedication to organisations like the Cayman Islands’ ISDHF, The Commercial Diving Hall of Fame, the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (AUAS), the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, the Historical Diving Society-USA (HDS-USA), and other educational societies. Inspired by Austrian pioneer diver Hans Hass, Mr. Leaney learnt to dive in 1969 in Singapore and became the branch Diving Officer for the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC). He led dive expeditions to Malaysia and the Maldives Islands and has dove in Jordan, Australia, New Zealand, Bahamas, England, Malta, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Spain, France, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, Palau, Yap and the Cayman Islands.

After his time exploring international waters, Mr. Leaney relocated to Malibu, Calif., where he later co-founded HDS-USA in 1992, which was instrumental in providing an international forum for societies to connect and learn about their dive history. Today, the HDS-USA has grown to over 2,700 members in 44 countries.

Mr. Leaney also founded Historical Diver Magazine (later renamed to The Journal of Diving History) and contributes to PADI’s Undersea Journal. He has lectured internationally on diving history and consulted for National Geographic, The History Channel, The B.B.C., Discovery Channel, United States Navy and more.

“Mr. Leaney has been integral to the growth of the dive product in the Cayman Islands and we are proud to see his work recognised by DEMA” said Mrs. Rosa Harris, Director of Tourism. “It’s through his preservation efforts and thoughtful contributions to the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame that divers and their legacies will live on and help to inspire future generations to discover the Cayman Islands’ spectacular underwater depths.”

Today Lesley serves as Executive Director for ISDHF, an organisation dedicated to the recognition of individuals internationally who have contributed to the sport of diving, are actively involved in the industry and are leaders in the dive community. The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame is headquartered in the Cayman Islands.

Recognised as the birthplace of recreational diving in the Caribbean, the three Cayman Islands feature some of the world’s best diving excursions with each island 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 are also home to the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, recognising dive industry pioneers since its inception in 2000. The islands are 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 offer spectacular recreational opportunities along with warm, impeccable service. To learn more about the Cayman Islands, visit www.visitcaymanIslands.com or www.divecayman.ky or call your local travel agent.

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