Kent, 10th Generation Caymanian, was born on April 12th, 1936 in Jamaica from Cayman parents. He has lived in Jamaica, Canada and Australia, however his permanent home is the Cayman Islands, where his roots are.
Kent’s first job after leaving school was to work with his father on board the ship MV Rescue, where he was introduced to his formal commercial diving career that he has practiced all of his life. He acquired his first scuba diving equipment in the early fifties as a teenager with the purchase of two CG45 Jacques Cousteau and Emil Gagnon twin hose regulators and three steel tanks which were the first scuba gear commercially on the market in 1947.
Kent’s early exposure to hard hat diving was with his Grandfather Captain Herbert Atwood Bodden fondly known as “Bertie”. Captain Herbert Bodden was the first hard hat diver in the Cayman Islands.
Kent’s Father Captain Enos Wellesley Eldemire was also the second qualified hard hat diver with Merritt Chapman and Scott Co., one of the world’s oldest and largest marine salvage organizations.
Many other family members were also Hard Hat divers, so with this strong background of stories, and exposure, this influenced the future direction for Kent to continue the tradition of diving, and to this day, his Grandfathers and Fathers hard hat helmets are retained by the family in honour of these trail blazing forefathers. Kent has been a qualified underwater contractor for most of his life, trained in cutting/welding and explosives underwater. He provided salvage services in the Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Australia.
During some earlier years spent in Jamaica, Kent was seconded as the Diving Training Officer with the Jamaica Defence Force. He was then transferred to HMS Lochinvar in Scotland and assigned to HMS Lewiston Minesweeper, and then to HMS Safeguard for the Royal Navy Training School where he qualified as a Royal Navy Master Diver.
Kent has a deep and abiding love of the ocean and with his passionate dedication to the history of diving and the furtherance of environmental control and conservation, he encouraged the implementation of Marine Parks in the Cayman Islands, identifying and securing the original Marine Park boundaries and zones, many of which continue to be legally defined today as they were originally. Founding Member and President of the Cayman Islands Watersports Operators Association 1981-1982. He implemented various rules and regulations for safe diving including the use of a float line behind the boat for diver’s comfort and safety and a 10’ bar hanging under the boat so that even with non-decompression dives, the divers, as a safety measure could hold onto the bar for a couple of minutes before surfacing.
He was the first to establish the training of in excess of 30 young Caymanians scuba diving under the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme, many of whom continued on to open their own Dive Operations. As a Public Servant he trained members of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Force to dive.
Kent was the first original inducted Special Officer in the Cayman Islands Police Force and was attached to the Water Police Division as the Fisheries Officer to enforce the conservation laws, rules and regulations of the Cayman Islands. Kent At 83 years old, is still a passionate adversary for Mother Earth and The Marine Environment. He remains a stalwart Caymanian still involved in preserving Cayman Heritage. He received a Certificate from The Board of Governors in 2001 recognizing him as a founding Member in the Cayman Maritime Heritage Foundation. He is an active senior member of Marine Search and Rescue Group.