Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, November 5, 2015 – On Thursday, November 5, the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism (CIDOT) announced the addition of five new inductees into the 2016 International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF) at the annual Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) trade show in Orlando, Florida. This year’s inductees include Bob Barth, Dr. Joe MacInnis, Ramón Bravo, Stuart Cove and Philippe Cousteau, Sr. Additionally, ISDHF is recognizing Riichi Watanabe, Kanezo Ohgushi and Kyuhachi Kataoka as Early Pioneers for their early and remarkable technological contributions to sport diving.
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 travel, equipment design and innovation, education and more. The new honorees will be officially inducted into the esteemed Hall of Fame during a special awards ceremony and dinner to be held in Grand Cayman on September 30, 2016.
The complete list of 2016 inductees, along with each of their noted achievements earning them the prestigious ISDHF accolade, is outlined below:
Bob Barth (USA)
Often regarded as the most famous living U.S. Navy diver, Bob Barth has been an integral part of several important U.S. Navy dive programs. Bob is a pioneer in saturation diving, a unique dive technique that helps reduce the risk of decompression sickness while exploring great depths of the ocean. He also aided in the creation of the U.S. Navy Decompression Tables associated with the U.S. Navy's Genesis and SEALAB projects, being the only diver to serve in every one of these habitat programs. Bob trained NASA astronauts on sonar equipment used for detecting objects underwater, and in recognition of his unique contributions to diving, the U.S. Navy named their Panama City diver training facility after him, calling it the CWO Robert A. Barth Aquatic Training Facility.
Ramón Bravo (Mexico, honored posthumously)
Recognized for his extensive contributions to the diving film and photography industry, and as a prominent Spanish-language diving author, Ramón Bravo is one of Mexico’s most famous divers. An early diving oceanographer and environmentalist, he maintained a successful television career promoting his environmental messages. Most notably, Bravo is recognized for his photography and study of “sleeping” Tiger Sharks off Isla Mujeres in the Caribbean, where he theorized that the sharks were not asleep, but in fact, cleansing their bodies with fresh water from the Yucatan river. Among his many projects, Bravo also photographed and directed the underwater scenes of the 1989 James Bond movie “Licensed To Kill.”
Philippe Cousteau, Sr. (France, honored posthumously)
Esteemed scuba diver, photographer, filmmaker, author, pilot, and son of famed adventurer Jacques Cousteau, Philippe Cousteau, Sr., is best-known for his work on numerous diving documentaries which have aired worldwide. He also hosted his own environmental PBS series, “Oasis in Space,” in 1976. A dedicated world traveler, Cousteau Sr., made several contributions to the field of diving, the U.S. Navy, National Geographic and more. He tragically passed in a 1979 plane crash; however, his legacy lives on.
Stuart Cove (USA)
Stuart Cove has been instrumental to the preservation of sharks and has made numerous appearances on the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” series, helping others to understand the importance of this apex predator. He founded “Children on a Reef,” an organization that provides underprivileged children in the Bahamas a chance to experience the underwater world. Highly influential in Hollywood, Calif., Stuart Cove helped to create publicity and generate exposure for recreational diving among actors -- teaching stars worldwide to dive as well as members of Britain’s royal family. He was on Hollywood’s “100 Most Influential People” list twice for his work in television and films, including “For Your Eyes Only,” “Never Say Never Again,” “The World Is Not Enough,” “Flipper,” and “Into the Blue.”
Dr. Joe MacInnis (Canada)
Renowned for his medical contributions towards the advancement of diving, Dr. Joe MacInnis is recognized as one of the most distinguished divers in Canada. He began his diving career in 1954 and has since led ten research expeditions alongside marine scientists. He served as the primary medical officer on many international diving projects ranging from diving under the Arctic ice with Canadian Premier Pierre Trudeau to early saturation diving with Ed Link, Jon Lindberg and Robert Sténuit. MacInnis has also worked alongside director James Cameron on underwater film expeditions and has authored ten books in his lifetime.
Early Pioneers Riichi Watanabe, Kanezo Ohgushi and Kyuhachi Kataoka (Japan)
In the early 20th century, Riichi Watanabe, a pearl merchant in Japan was seeking better equipment for divers. Determined to find a solution, he worked with Kanezo Ohgushi to design a self-contained diving system in 1916, which was later patented in the United States, England, France and other countries. Kyuhachi Kataoka carried out both of their work and founded a company that manufactured Ogushi’s Peerless Respirator. The Peerless Respirator was used by several operators during the 1920s for salvage operations, including one in Russia.
To learn more about the 2016 ISDHF inductees, please visit the following link: www.caymanislands.ky/eventsoffers/scubadivinghalloffame.aspx.