Beneath The Sea - the New York based scuba diving show - has today announced their 2018 award recipients.
2018 Diver of the Year (Science)
Jeff Bozanic PhD started diving in California when he was 15. "I used to watch 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea'. When I had the opportunity to try diving at High School, I grabbed the chance. I thought it would be fun to go and explore a place where people just didn't go very often."
Bozanic learned to scuba dive with NAUI "because NAUI was the only way to train at the time where I was based in California."
In 1978, aged 20, Bozanic became NAUI instructor and a scientific diver at Humboldt State University.
Bozanic fell in love with cave diving after meeting master scuba instructor and cave explorer Dennis Williams on an instructor training course at the Florida Institute of Technology. And it was because of cave diving that Bozanic got into rebreathers.
"My first rebreather dive was in 1988 on a Biomarine CCR1000". (This was the civilian version of the Biomarine MK15.) "I started diving rebreathers simply because my cave diving on open circuit had become intolerable and inefficient. I was using and wrangling up to 8 cylinders on a dive and it was just unworkable for me. A rebreather made my cave diving easier".
Over the past 37 years Jeff Bozanic has participated or lead more than 70 scientific diving expeditions around the world. Destinations include Palau, Canary Islands, and Antarctica. These expeds have collected 200+ new species of animals, and explored and surveyed several underwater cave systems.
Jeff has served on the Board of Directors for NAUI, NSS Cave Diving Section Board, IANTD Board of Advisors, and the TDI Rebreather Advisory Board. Today he is the President of Next Generation Services, where he provides consulting and training services in the diving market. His clients include rebreather manufacturers, training agencies, and legal agencies.
The team at BTS do a great job in supporting the diving industry. I am very honoured that they have selected me for this year's Diver of the Year award. Jeff Bozanic
Jeff Bozanic has received a number of awards including:
2018 Diver of the Year (Service)
David Burroughs learnt to dive in 1985 whist he was serving in the US Navy. At the time he was stationed aboard USS Ulysses S. Grant SSBN 631 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (This vessel was a James Madison-class fleet nuclear ballistic missile submarine). Burroughs first dive was the Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse off York, Maine.
In 1988 Burroughs gained his SSI open water instructor certification. He subsequently gained his SSI Master Instructor and SSI Instructor Trainer.
The late 80s / early 90s was an exciting for adventurous divers. 'Voodoo gas' or 'devil gas' - aka Nitrox - was starting to be dived because it allowed longer no-decompression dives.
"I was diving and teaching nitrox diving in 1992 for IAND (International Association of Nitrox Divers) off Virginia Beach. There are a lot of wrecks in the 130 ft / 39 mt wrecks and we were diving on doubles (twinset) and using nitrox to get longer divers."
In the same year (1992) Burroughs crossed over and became a PADI Pro.
In 1993 Burroughs moved to the Grand Bahamas for three years, to manage Freeport Undersea Adventures. He was one of the first IAND Nitrox instructors teaching in the Caribbean. When TDI was founded in 1994, Burroughs crossed over to become a TDI Nitrox instructor, and one of the first instructors of this brand new training agency.
It is a great honour. I'm humbled to receive such an award from the industry I love, and that I want to see continue to grow. It is nice that my work has been recognised. David Burroughs
"When I came back to the USA in 1996 I became a sales rep in the Northeast. I started with some small lines. A year later I was offered the Northeast sales position for Oceanic. It was fun growing the territory."
In 2004 Brian Carney bought TDI and asked Burroughs to join the tech diving agency to build and manage TDI’s first professional sales team. Burroughs jumped at the opportunity. During his time at SDI / TDI, David actively contributed to the agency and taught divers from Florida to Canada everything from Open Water Diver to Advanced Trimix, certifying over 500 divers.
In 2007, Bob Hollis, CEO, and Founder of Oceanic offered Burroughs the opportunity to help launch his new technical dive line: Hollis Dive Gear. Burroughs love of tech diving proved useful and he became VP of Sales.
In 2010 David Burroughs and his wife Shawn bought Caribbean Dive Tours. Burroughs continued at American Underwater Products (AUP) whilst Shawn ran Caribbean Dive Tours.
Today David Burroughs is the North America Sales Manager for Huish Outdoors and a business partner of Caribbean Dive Tours.
2018 Legend of the Sea
Captain Wayne Hasson was originally a YMCA diver. He passed his Open Water Diver course in 1967 and in 1971 he became a diving instructor.
Hasson had a busy 70"s. In 1972 he earned his Coast Guard Captain’s License as an Ocean Operator. The following year he became a NAUI instructor whilst serving with the United States Marine Corps. He completed Navy Dive School, and certified over 500 divers during his time in the US Navy. Whilst he served in the Marines Hasson became the owner / Captain of M/V King Mac, a liveaboard sailing from Moorehead City, North Carolina.
In 1980 Hasson relocated to the Cayman Islands to manage the Casa Bertmar Dive Resort and got involved in island tourism. Projects included after-school dive training course for Cayman youth and funding / installing over 100 mooring sites in the Cayman Islands.
In 1984 Hasson co-founded the Aggressor Fleet and in the same year Hasson introduced the first Aggressor to the Cayman Islands. In September 1996 the Cayman Islands government sunk a Russian Koni class frigate in Cayman Brac after Hasson had acquired Ship #356 from Cuba.
I’m very honoured...I’ve had a lot of fun - and it’s been an uphill battle sometimes - but it’s been mostly good. The industry’s been kind to me. Captain Wayne Hasson
Amongst other roles Hasson has served as the Captain of three Aggressor ships and on the DEMA and NAUI Boards.
2018 Diver of the Year (Education)
Cinematographer Jill Heinerth is currently the Royal Canadian Society 'Explorer in Residence'. (However she would refer to herself as an "explorer / educator").
Heinerth completed her PADI Open Water certification dives in Tobermory, Canada in 1988. By 1990 she was a PADI diving instructor. Two years later she moved to Grand Cayman to work at ‘Cayman Diving Lodge’. She taught diving, helped run day-to-day operations and handled the marketing. It was a good base to learn necessary new skills, and she gained invaluable underwater photography time and experience.
In 1995 Heinerth had a profound moment in her diving career. She discovered cave diving and she moved to Florida. Her first husband – Paul Heinerth – was an incredibly experienced cave explorer. She was soon joining Paul on some remarkable expeditions (1995 Rio Tuerto Expedition, Huautla Plateau, Mexico, 1996 Ejido Jacinto Pat Exploration project, Yucatan). In 1997 the Heinerths discovered the deep-water conduits (84 mt / 310 ft) in the massive cave system beneath Sistema Dos Ojos in Akumal, Mexico.
Since the turn of this century Jill Heinerth has written four books on cave diving, photography, underwater videography, and rebreathers whilst co-authoring two books on side-mount diving and women underwater. She writes for various publications around the world and is a contributing editor and video columnist to DIVER Magazine.
I am greatly honoured to be recognised by BTS, and in the tradition of the show, will pay it forward to help inspire the next generation to discover and share the magic of the underwater world. Jill Heinerth
Heinerth is prolific speaker giving presentations at industry trade shows, schools, universities and corporate events around the world. She has been a presenter on dozens of radio and TV broadcasts, including the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, CBC, and television networks from Japan to Australia. Over 1.5 million people have learned about climate change, water, adventure, and exploration by viewing Heinerth"s TED Talk.
Jill Heinerth has received a number of awards including:
- 2000 Women Divers Hall of Fame
- 2007 SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Award
- 2013 OZTek Media Award
- 2013 Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration, Royal Canadian Geographical Society
- 2017 Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences NOGI Sports & Education Award
2018 Diving Pioneer Award
The Historical Diving Society was founded in 1990 in the UK by a group of enthusiasts "is to advance the study of the History of Diving" and preserve and protect diving heritage.
This didn't go unnoticed by Brit Leslie Leaney who co-founded the HDSUSA with Kirby Morgan President, Skip Dunham, on 18 October 1992.
The inaugural meeting of HDSUSA was held at the Santa Barbara City College Marine Technical Department. Present were a mix of recreational, military and seasoned commercial dive veterans and old school hat hat divers like Bob Kirby, Bev Morgan, Bob Ratcliffe, Scrap Lundy and Lad Handelman. The new society adopted the motto "Education Through Preservation" and has worked to fulfil this through research and publications.
Leaney was fascinated by the history of diving and for many years he was a key driving force behind the American Historical Diving Society. (He was the founding president of HDSUSA). Leaney, supported by the likes of Lee Selisky (Chairman), the Kirby Morgan Corportation and the HDSUSA Board of Directors assisted in the formation of historical societies in other countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, and Russia.
BTS has been a staunch supporter and the HDSUSA/BTS Museum of Diving History is always a huge attraction at the show.
It is indeed a great honor for the HDSUSA to be recognized with the BTS Pioneer Award, and it is the first time that an organisation has received this award. The Board of Directors expresses their sincere thanks to all at BTS
In 1993 Leaney launched The Journal of Diving History, taking it from a 24 page black and white publication to a 70+ page colour magazine with a worldwide circulation. In 2011 Leaney retired from the Board of Directors to devote more of his time to this journal. This is a useful resource for recording the people and equipment of yesteryear, and, as a result, we have not lost important stories.
Last year HDSUSA turned 25. A Silver Jubilee should always be marked. It is good to see that the hunger and enthusiasm for historical diving has prevailed for a quarter of a century. Beneath the Sea has therefore acknowledged the work HDSUSA has done to highlight, record and preserve the history of diving by announcing the 2018 Diving Pioneer Award is to be given to the Historical Diving Society USA.