July 24, 2021

The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame Board of Directors announces the 2018 Inductees

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Outstanding Contributors to the Growth of Recreational Diving to be Honoured at Annual Induction Ceremony in Grand Cayman, September 2018

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, November 2, 2017 – The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF) board of directors today announced the latest inductees into the Hall of Fame for 2018. New inductees Stephen Frink, Dick Rutkowski, Dr. H.S. Batuna, Wulf H. Koehler, and Boris Porotov, along with Early Pioneer Award honouree, Captain Philippe Tailliez, will join a prestigious roster of dive industry pioneers who have helped grow and elevate the sport of scuba diving. The new members will be officially inducted into the Hall of Fame during a special awards ceremony and dinner held in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands on Friday, September 14, 2018.

Established by the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism in 2000, the ISDHF celebrates those who have contributed to the success and growth of recreational scuba diving worldwide through advancements in the areas of dive tourism, equipment design and innovation, education, exploration, adventure, and more.

“The Cayman Islands’ history with the sport of recreational diving runs deep and wide, making it a natural home to recognise the innovators and dive legacies who have helped shape and affirm our island trio into the leading scuba destination it is today,” said Hon. Minister of Tourism, Mr Moses Kirkconnell. “Year after year, the ISDHF inducts some of the world’s greatest dive leaders and we are proud to showcase their trailblazing efforts in carrying on the same passion of divers before them, while also enabling our guests to create unforgettable dive memories in the Cayman Islands.”

The complete list of 2018 inductees, along with each of their noted contributions earning them the prestigious ISDHF accolade, is outlined below:

Stephen Frink (USA)
As a freelance photographer for over forty years, Stephen Frink has been a leading promoter of the Florida Keys diving product. He has promoted the destination through seminars at trade shows, articles and photos. He has constantly given his time and talents to convincing county, state and federal officials of the importance of the Keys reef systems, particularly the importance of artificial reefs given the stress our natural environment is currently withstanding. These efforts continue even more prolifically in his role as publisher of the DAN Alert Diver magazine.

As part of his conservation drive, Frink serves on the Board of Directors of the Coral Reef Restoration Foundation, promoting the growing and planting of corals all over the Keys, documenting this for NOAA and providing articles and photos around the world for the cause.

Dick Rutkowski (USA)
Dick Rutkowski helped popularize the use of nitrox among sport divers through the International Association of Nitrox Divers (IAND), which he founded and which later become International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD) under president Tom Mount. He also helped standardize and expand hyperbaric chamber training through his Key Largo, Florida-based organization Hyperbarics International, which Rutkowski founded and still operates today.

Rutkowski retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1985 after 33 years of federal service, where he served as deputy diving coordinator and director of NOAA’s diver training. In addition, he was the founder and a director of NOAA’s Diving/Hyperbaric Training and Diver Treatment facility from 1973-1985, which treated hundreds of divers for diving injuries. He also served as co-director of Undersea Hyperbaric & Medical Society (UHMS) physicians diving and hyperbaric medical training program.

Dr. H.S. Batuna (Indonesia, honoured posthumously)
Dr. Batuna was a visionary medical doctor and diver, who over several decades, successfully developed a recreational diving operation and resort in a new location in Indonesia. In fulfilling his vision, he navigated the political and cultural issues of the region, established the training of dive masters, instructors, resort management, administration, domestic staff and local boatbuilding of dive boats, all of which was required to establish a modern diving and eco-tourism destination. Dr. Batuna’s vision resulted in the encouragement of other resorts to be formed in the region, which generated sustainable jobs.

From the beginning, Dr. Batuna’s vision included sustainable eco-friendly tourism operations that were part of a small local group, which was instrumental in creating the formation of the Bunaken Marine Park in 1989. Dr. Batuna was an exceptional man with a selfless vision, who worked diligently and successfully to not only create a new eco diving destination, but in doing so, he also brought sustainable prosperity to his fellow North Sulawesi citizens.

Wulf H. Koehler (Germany)
As a scientist, engineer, inventor, dive instructor, pilot, photographer, journalist and writer, Wulf Koehler has dedicated a major part of his life to the sea by educating divers, instructing underwater photographers and manufacturing underwater camera housings. To add to the list of his successes, Wulf has dived in almost every ocean of this planet.

In 1972, he founded WKD OceanOptics, Germany, where he designed and manufactured a variety of underwater housings for companies such as, Arriflex, Canon, Hasselblad, JVC, Nikon, and Rollei Franke & Heidecke. Additionally, he produced an underwater documentary film for Anglia Survival Ltd. about the famous wreck of the Umbria and was the Underwater Project Engineer for the Hollywood movie, The Deep. Wulf was co-builder of the underwater laboratory Neritica at Eilat in the Red Sea and he assisted in building GEO, a research dive vessel with special underwater lighting designed for depths to 1000 meters.

Boris Porotov (Kazakhstan, USSR)
Boris Porotov was a self-taught scuba diver in Russia in 1960, at a time when no manufactured equipment or instruction material of any kind was available. He learned by trial and error and was able, with extremely limited resources, to instruct others to scuba dive. In 1963, he led a group of divers to the Sea of Japan, returning two years later to make a scuba diving film which was aired on Soviet TV. In 1965, his dedication to the sport lead Porotov to establish the scuba diving club DIVE, which was one of the first handful of clubs to be started in Russia. As founding Chairman, he still operates the club today. In 1998, the club adopted the CMAS training program and in 1969, he developed and created the Monofin.

His skills as an instructor in competitive scuba diving contests gained his students numerous world records and he was eventually assigned to train the Soviet Navy’s Special Underwater Forces. He has received numerous Soviet awards for his instructional work and in 1991, he and his wife became Handicapped Scuba Association (HAS) instructors and opened their own school in the Black Sea port of Sebastopol. Porotov still operates the school today teaching primarily handicapped children to scuba dive.

Captain Philippe Tailliez (France, honoured posthumously with the 2018 Early Pioneer Award)
As a French naval Lieutenant, Captain Philippe Tailliez introduced Midshipman Jacques Yves Cousteau to free diving at Le Mourillon in 1936. Tailliez coached Cousteau through spearfishing and two years later introduced him to Frederic Dumas. This trio became known as Les Mousquemers, The Three Musketeers of the Sea, which helped lay the foundation for the sport of recreational scuba diving.

While Cousteau eventually left the navy, Tailliez was a career officer. In 1945 he became the first commanding office of GRS, which was the first military unit to use the aqualung. All future military and civilian diving using the aqualung was based on the work of GRS at this period and their research was translated into many languages. Tailliez went on to author several books on diving, was still diving at 90 years of age, and passed a4way at age 97 with over three quarters of a century of service to the sport.

To learn more about the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, please visit www.ISDHF.com/2018.

About the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame
The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame was founded in 2000 by the Ministry of Tourism of the Cayman Islands. Since the Cayman Islands is a leading pioneer in dive travel and is a premiere world destination for divers, it seemed only natural that the Cayman Islands should be home to a hall of fame honouring those people who have contributed the most to the sport of Scuba diving.

The mission of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame is to honour those people who have helped to make the sport of Scuba diving possible, safer, more popular and more enjoyable. The annual induction ceremony takes place in the Cayman Islands every year during the annual induction ceremony.

About the Cayman Islands
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.

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