Earlier today - 2 November 2017 - the 2018 International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame inductees were announced at the DEMA Show.
The six men hail from France, Germany, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, and USA and they will be formally inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame on 14 September 2018 in the Cayman Islands.
Many congratulations to Dr HS Batuna (honoured posthumously), Stephen Frink, Wulf H. Koehler, Boris Porotov, Dick Rutkowski, Captain Philippe Tailliez (honoured posthumously with the 2018 Early Pioneer Award).
Dr HS Batuna, Indonesia
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.
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.
Stephen Frink has received a number of awards including:
- 2003 Beneath The Sea Diver of the Year Award (Service)
- 2016 Our World Underwater Outstanding Achievement Award
- 2016 NOGI Award (Arts)
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 1,000 meters.
Boris Porotov, Kazakhstan
Boris Porotov was a self-taught scuba diver in Russia in 1960, at a time when no manufactured equipment or instruction manual 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
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 skill 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 several 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.
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 became 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 organisation 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.
Dick Rutkowski has received a number of awards including:
Captain Philippe Tailliez, France
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 a four way at at age 97 with over three quarters of a century of service to the sport.