Cayman Islands Announces 2003 Inductees ForThe International Scuba Diving Hall Of Fame The Cayman Islands is has announced that six of scuba diving's all-time greats will be honored as inductees to the prestigious International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame January 16, 2003 in George Town, Grand Cayman. Recognized for their outstanding contributions to the sport at the third-annual Induction Ceremony, will be Skin Diver magazine founders Chuck Blakeslee and Jim Auxier, Miami's first dive store founder Jordan Klein, world-renowned marine environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, Co-author of The Complete Manual of Free Diving, early pioneer French diver Frederic Dumas, and the pioneer of YMCA scuba training in New England, Frank Scalli. ''The Diving Hall of Fame was designed to commemorate the achievements and contributions of the champions of diving. Inductees must possess a track record of contributions to the development, growth and/or promotion of the sport of recreational scuba diving around the world, and there's no doubt that this year's group, with their outstanding achievements, are leaders in their own right,'' stated the Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, Leader of Government Business, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Development & Commerce. ''The Cayman Islands is once again thrilled, and extremely proud, to host an event that honors a sport that blossomed in our country.'' Inductee Biographical Highlights Chuck Blakelee and Jim Auxier - The team founded Skin Diver magazine in 1951. Their magazine sponsored the beginnings of underwater photography and encouraged women diving.
Jordan Klein -
Owner/operator of Miami's first dive store, Underwater Sports; Founder of Mako underwater cameras & housings; founder of Mako Air Compressors; director/cameraman for 100 motion pictures: Thunderball, Flipper, amongst others; designer/builder of numerous submarine & scooter props for film making.Jean-Michel Cousteau - Pioneer marine environmentalist worldwide; author of numerous books on diving exploration; prolific filmmaker; prominent lecturer at film festivals & diving events; spokesman for U.S. Divers Co. and spokesman for the Cayman Islands diving; producer of film on the Russian Destroyer wreck sunk in Cayman Brac.Frederic Dumas -- with Jacques Cousteau and Phillipe Talliez wrote ''The Complete Manual of Free Diving.'' He was the first to test the ''Aqua Lung'' to 200 feet off Marseilles for fifteen minutes in October 1943.Frank Scalli -- Pioneer of YMCA scuba training in New England area; pioneer of YMCA instructor training in New England; owner/operator of dive training center in Natick, Mass; national sales manager for U.S. Divers Co.; founding member of Boston Sea Rovers. An official Diving Hall of Fame Board of Directors oversees the Diving Hall of Fame project. These Board Members are comprised of internationally recognized individuals that have contributed to the sport and are actively involved in the scuba diving industry and individual leaders of the local community. They consist of: Hon. W. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, Chairman Leader of Government Business, Minister of Tourism, Environment, Development and Commerce Paul J. Tzimoulis, Online Publisher, Sport Diver Magazine Cathy Church, Cathy Church's Underwater Photo Centre at Sunset House Ron Kipp, Marketing Committee Member of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association Captain Charles ''Chuckie'' Ebanks, President, Cayman National Watersports Association Leslie Leaney, President, Historical Diving Society Rodney McDowall, President, Cayman Islands Tourism Association Werner Kurn, President, DEMA, CEO, Ocean Enterprises, Inc.
''The Board of Governors is delighted to honor these important pioneers by including them in the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame,'' says board member Cathy Church. ''We start with a long list of amazing people, all of whom have helped to make Scuba Diving one of the most marvelous sports in the world. Then we must carefully shorten this list, trying to include those who were among the first to pioneer an idea, and who have devoted much of their lives to furthering the sport. We salute them all.'' This year's recipients will join past line-ups that include Lloyd Bridges, Jacques Yves Cousteau, Zale Parry, John Cronin, Bob Hollis, and David Doubilet. The Ministry of Tourism and the Board are busy planning the finite details of the induction ceremony.