Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, November 5, 2015 – On Thursday, November 5, the Cayman IslandsDepartment of Tourism (CIDOT) announced the addition of five new inductees into the 2016 International ScubaDiving Hall of Fame (ISDHF) at the annual Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) trade show inOrlando, Florida. This year’s inductees include Bob Barth, Dr. Joe MacInnis, Ramón Bravo, Stuart Cove and PhilippeCousteau, Sr. Additionally, ISDHF is recognizing Riichi Watanabe, Kanezo Ohgushi and Kyuhachi Kataoka as EarlyPioneers for their early and remarkable technological contributions to sport diving. Established by the CaymanIslands Ministry of Tourism in 2000, ISDHF celebrates those who have contributed to the success and growth ofrecreational scuba diving through advancements in dive travel, equipment design and innovation, education andmore. The new honorees will be officially inducted into the esteemed Hall of Fame during a special awards ceremonyand 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 prestigiousISDHF 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 severalimportant U.S. Navy dive programs. Bob is a pioneer in saturation diving, a unique dive technique that helps reducethe risk of decompression sickness while exploring great depths of the ocean. He also aided in the creation of theU.S. Navy Decompression Tables associated with the U.S. Navy's Genesis and SEALAB projects, being the onlydiver to serve in every one of these habitat programs. Bob trained NASA astronauts on sonar equipment used fordetecting objects underwater, and in recognition of his unique contributions to diving, the U.S. Navy named theirPanama 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 Spanishlanguagediving author, Ramón Bravo is one of Mexico’s most famous divers. An early diving oceanographer andenvironmentalist, 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 theYucatan river. Among his many projects, Bravo also photographed and directed the underwater scenes of the 1989James 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, CousteauSr., made several contributions to the field of diving, the U.S. Navy, National Geographic and more. He tragicallypassed 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 theDiscovery Channel’s “Shark Week” series, helping others to understand the importance of this apex predator. Hefounded “Children on a Reef,” an organization that provides underprivileged children in the Bahamas a chance toexperience the underwater world. Highly influential in Hollywood, Calif., Stuart Cove helped to create publicity andgenerate exposure for recreational diving among actors -- teaching stars worldwide to dive as well as members ofBritain’s royal family. He was on Hollywood’s “100 Most Influential People” list twice for his work in television andfilms, including “For Your Eyes Only,” “Never Say Never Again,” “The World Is Not Enough,” “Flipper,” and “Into theBlue.”
Dr. Joe MacInnis (Canada)
Renowned for his medical contributions towards the advancement of diving, Dr. Joe MacInnis is recognized as one ofthe most distinguished divers in Canada. He began his diving career in 1954 and has since led ten researchexpeditions alongside marine scientists. He served as the primary medical officer on many international divingprojects ranging from diving under the Arctic ice with Canadian Premier Pierre Trudeau to early saturation diving withEd Link, Jon Lindberg and Robert Sténuit. MacInnis has also worked alongside director James Cameron onunderwater 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 outboth of their work and founded a company that manufactured Ogushi’s Peerless Respirator. The Peerless Respiratorwas used by several operators during the 1920s for salvage operations, including one in Russia.