The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF) honoured its class of 2018 inductees Friday night (14 September) at the Marriott Grand Cayman.
“This is the first generation if you will of divers who brought diving into the world,” said ISDHF board member Tom Ingram.
Six decades after the late Bob Soto made Cayman the birthplace of recreational scuba diving, it remains home to the ISDHF.
“It’s the perfect place because this is really where dive travel began, especially for the Americas, and as a result, this is the place where we all kind of look tonight when we are thinking about dive and dive travel,” said Mr. Ingram.
Friday night, the 2018 class of honoureess took its place among the lions of the industry – among them, German Wulf Kohler.
“Honest to god I was overwhelmed, I didn’t expect that,” he said when asked about his reaction to his ISDHF induction.
In addition to pioneering underwater camera housings, Mr. Kohler takes credit for one of the earliest published underwater selfies, from the inside of a self-built submarine at 200 meters.
“I put my camera on the floor and delay were triggered, boom, and it got a double page in Geo magazine,” said Mr. Kohler.
Other 2018 inductees include:
- Captain Phillippe Taillez, who taught the famous Jacques Cousteau how to dive in 1936
- Dr. H.S. Batuna, who established Indonesia’s Bunaken Marine Park in 1989
- Dick Rutkowski, who helped popularise the use of Nitrox among sport divers.
- Stephen Frink, a freelance photographer and leading promoter of Florida Keys diving.
- Boris Porotov, who taught himself and others how to dive in the 19-60’s USSR, before the availability of manufactured equipment.
All worthy hall of famers, said Mr. Ingram.
“To find those people who are pioneers in their country is one of our missions, it is one of our goals,” said Mr. Ingram.
The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame will announce its 2019 inductees at the DEMA trade show in Las Vegas this November.