Wednesday, July 1, 2015

With the Florida Lobster Mini-Season Approaching, Dive Safety PSA & Poster Provide Safety Reminders

**DEMA and Divers Alert Network (DAN) Provide Tips to Increase Diver Safety for Florida’s Lobster Mini-Season July 29-30, 2015**
With the 2015 Florida Lobster Mini-Season just  one month away, DEMA has updated their Lobster Mini-Season poster and is circulating a 30-second PSA in an effort to increase diver safety.  Both the poster and PSA remind divers to be prepared for the upcoming mini-season. DEMA Members are encouraged to print the Lobster Mini-Season poster and to display it in the store, distribute it to their customers, and share it electronically with their own online community. Both the poster and PSA are part of DEMA’s ongoing campaign to encourage divers to refresh their training and maintain their equipment prior to getting back in the water.   
“By circulating this PSA and poster before the two-day lobster mini-season opens , we hope divers will start preparing for Florida’s annual Lobster hunt and be reminded to adhere to necessary safety measures when hunting for lobsters, including diving with a buddy,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “With increased awareness of the recommended safety procedures, we hope to keep diving safe for everyone during this 2015 mini-season.”
The 30-second PSA was produced by DEMA in partnership with Divers Alert Network and specifically timed for the two-day Florida Lobster mini-season opening on July 29 and ending July 30. It was created to encourage divers to visit their local dive center to update their dive equipment and refresh and advance their dive training.
In addition to being made available to the Industry for download and sharing, the poster and PSA will be promoted as a social media campaign via DEMABe A Diver, and DiveCaching Twitter & Facebook pages prior to and during the Lobster Mini-Season, as well as on social media sites of affiliated organizations. The poster is now available to be viewed, shared and downloaded and the PSA can be viewed and shared via the Be A Diver YouTube channel. All divers and Industry Professionals are encouraged to share the PSA with their social media friends and followers and their local diving community to spread this important message. 

Opposition to the Cayman Islands Cruise Ship Berthing Facility is URGENTLY NEEDED

DEMA urgently requests all members of the diving community to issue a statement to the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE) by the July 3rd deadline OPPOSING the construction of a proposed cruise ship berthing facility. 

The Cayman Islands Department of Environment has made the Draft Non-Technical Summary of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed Grand Cayman Cruise Berthing Facility available.  Comments on the Draft Statement, Non-technical statement and the Technical Appendices must be submitted in any of the following ways: 
  1. In writing electronically via e-mail to doe@gov.ky
  2. Mailed to Department of Environment, P.O. Box 10202, Grand Cayman KY1-1002
  3. Hand delivered to Department of Environment, Environmental Centre, 580 North Sound Road, George Town, Grand Cayman 
The comment period will officially close on Friday 3 July 2015. 



The technical data can be found in various links seen here: http://ht.ly/OAfec

DEMA's opinion is that the construction and operation of this facility will be devastating to the natural coral reefs.  Damage will occur due to direct dredging action, turbidity and siltation on the living reefs near Georgetown during construction and additional damage will likely be caused by the on-going dredging required to maintain the berthing facility, as outlined in the June 2, 2015 Environmental Statement.  In addition, in studying the data presented in the draft Environmental Statement, the actual economic benefit to the Cayman Islands appears to be questionable, involving millions of dollars to re-locate a shipwreck (the Balboa) and portions of the living reef with a result that there would still be a net loss of living coral. 

Given that tourists arriving by air to the Cayman Islands (rather than cruise ship) account for 77% of the tourist revenue generated there, it appears to make little economic sense to destroy the very fabric of Grand Cayman's attraction to tourists, to accommodate a greater number of cruise ships ferrying tourists who, according the Environmental Statement, spend an average of less than $CI 100 per person on island.

All divers and all dive professionals are URGED to make comments directly to the Cayman Islands Department of Environment prior to the July 3rd deadline.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

DEMA's Board Meets for Quarterly Meeting & Discusses Strategic Direction with Industry Stakeholders

On June 8th and 9th, the DEMA Board of Directors met for a Quarterly Board Meeting with key topics for discussion being strategic planning, Reaching Out Award Nominations, and implementation of new board policies to help the association thrive in the future.
Day one of the Board Meeting began with a group discussion to help set DEMA’s strategic direction over the next 24 to 36 months. Attended by the DEMA Board of Directors, as well as by several invited Industry stakeholders who were also present at the 2014 Strategic Session, the group discussed DEMA’s progress since the meeting and plans for the future.
Those in attendance included:

Industry Stakeholders:
  • Don Rockwell, Aqua Lung
  • Sid Stovall, Ascuba Venture, Inc.
  • Mark Young, Dive Training Magazine
  • Dean Garraffa, Huish Outdoors
  • Richard Mitsoda, Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas
  • Mike Lever, Nautilus Explorer
  • Drew Richardson, PADI Worldwide
  • Jeff Nadler, PADI Worldwide
  • Jenny Collister, Reef & Rainforest Dive & Adventure Travel
  • Joe Stella, Scubapro
  • Doug McNeese, Scuba Schools International
  • Stephen Ashmore, TUSA
DEMA Board Members:
  • Mike Hollis, Pelagic Products
  • Scott Daley, Body Glove International
  • Tim Webb, Caradonna Dive Adventures
  • William Cline, Cline Group Advertising, Inc.
  • Dan Orr, Dan Orr Consulting
  • Werner Kurn, Ocean Enterprises, Inc.
  • Kristin Valette  , PADI Americas
  • Tom Leaird, Scuba Educators/PDIC International
  • Stuart Cove, Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas
The group discussed outcomes and opportunities as a result of the previous meeting, including:
Ongoing Industry Research Projects
Led by Research Committee Chair, William Cline

Discussion included progress of the next research phase which includes cross-tabulating data collected to determine more about diver purchasing behavior, and collection of retail dive store benchmarking data to help retailers compare their progress to that of the Industry.

New Consumer Marketing Initiative
Led by Consumer Marketing Committee Chair, Kristin Valette
Discussion covered the direction of DEMA’s new consumer marketing initiative including stakeholder feedback regarding future plans. Stakeholder suggestions included:
  1. The need to ensure engagement by Industry stakeholders in the process and in the program to make sure the effort is headed in a direction that is most useful for the entire industry. Invest the majority of DEMA’s time, energy and resources into collaborating with the industry to make this initiative successful for all.
  2. Conduct several retailer and travel case-studies to fine-tune efforts prior to launching them out to all stakeholders.
Mission Statement and Governance Evaluation
Led by 2014 Strategic Direction Committee Chair, Tom Leaird
Discussion involved reviewing the next steps to determine DEMA’s direction for the next 24 to 36 months, including the association’s Mission Statement. In addition to Committee Members, the following stakeholders volunteered to participate in making recommendations to the DEMA Board:
  • Mike Hollis, Pelagic Products
  • Tom Leaird, Scuba Educators/PDIC International
  • Mike Lever, Nautilus Explorer
  • Doug McNeese, Scuba Schools International (SSI)
  • Jeff Nadler, Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Worldwide
  • Dan Orr, Dan Orr Consulting
  • Mark Young, Dive Training Magazine
The first meeting of the Strategic Direction Committee will be scheduled in July.

The ultimate goal of this session was to continue the effort to collaborate with members of the professional diving community and help establish a strategic direction for DEMA; a direction that can assist in developing a more profitable future for the diving industry.
“I welcomed the opportunity to provide input on the direction of our Industry’s trade association. Working with concerned DEMA Members to make our trade association more responsive and proactive is how our Industry will become stronger and remain viable in the future. While expressing a valid concern is healthy, continuous pessimism is not,” commented Richard Mitsoda, Managing Director of Maduro Dive Fanta-Seas. “I encourage every stakeholder to be involved; to voice and support positive solutions to achieve industry growth. Only by working together, but yet striving at being the best at what each of us does, is how both individually and collectively we will succeed.”

After the strategic group discussion, the Board of Directors reconvened to review the input from the stakeholder group.  In addition, the 2015 Reaching Out Award nominee evaluations were reviewed, and honorees were determined to be Jim Gatacre, founder of the Handicapped Scuba Association, and hyperbaric researcher Dr. Richard Vann. Also of significance, was a discussion about Industry participation in DEMA and the annual DEMA Show. This discussion included ideas for involving more stakeholders in their trade association community to increase success of such items as Industry research and consumer marketing.

The next Board Meeting is scheduled for August 19th, 2015. More information on DEMA’s Board of Directors and Bylaws is available on the DEMA website. Complete minutes from past Board of Directors Meetings are available to current DEMA Members from the Member Dashboard of www.dema.org

Miss Scuba International & Emmy Award-Winning Journalist Star in DEMA’s New Dive Flag Awareness PSA

  ** DEMA, Divers Alert Network (DAN) and the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) Remind Boaters and Divers of Dive Flag Use **

With the summer in the Northern Hemisphere officially kicking off over the weekend, DEMA, in collaboration with the Divers Alert Network (DAN) and the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) has released a new Dive Flag Awareness Public Service Announcement (PSA) in an effort to increase diver safety by reminding boaters and divers of safety tips and proper dive flag etiquette. Dive Industry Professionals are encouraged share the PSA with their customers and community. The new PSA is part of DEMA’s ongoing campaign to remind divers and boaters of the proper use of a dive flag to signal that divers are in the water and boaters should maintain distance and be cautious when in proximity to divers.


The PSA is available in English and Spanish, as well as 30-second and 15-second formats.  The English version features Miss Scuba International '14-'15 and TV ReporterTabitha LipkinThe Spanish version of the PSA features Emmy award-winning journalist and bilingual reporter, Yanula Ramirez. The PSA was produced by DEMA in partnership with DAN and NSBC.

“DEMA is pleased to provide this latest update to our ongoing PSA program which makes diving visible to the public and also adds to the safety of the sport. We are also very excited about creating a Spanish-language version of our Dive Flag PSAs, widening our audience and increasing the reach of our safety message,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA.
In addition to the newly released PSAs, DEMA’s Dive Flag Awareness poster is available to be viewed, shared and downloaded. The new PSA and poster will be promoted via DEMABe A Diver and DiveCaching Twitter & Facebook pages for the remainder of the summer, as well as on social media sites of affiliated organizations. DEMA is also providing copies of the PSA to select television stations in key markets to increase the visibility of dive flag awareness to boaters as well as divers.

All versions of the PSA can be viewed and shared via the DEMAorg YouTube channel. All divers, boaters and Industry Professionals are encouraged to share the new PSAs with their social media friends and followers, local diving community and local marinas to spread this important message.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DEMA Requests Recommendations from Members for the 2016 Be A Diver Pool Tour Schedule

**Association Interested in Targeted Venues for the Pool **
Since its inception, the Be A Diver Pool Tour has traveled across the U.S. to exhibit at numerous consumer shows to introduce scuba diving to attendees in the confines of a four-feet deep swimming pool. Amenities like towels, hair dryers, and changing rooms are also on-site to enhance the overall experience upon completion. As DEMA is working on the Pool’s 2016 schedule and continues to apply cross marketing principles, it is turning to its Members for suggestions on where to exhibit next year. Whether the suggestion is for a public aquarium, a Boat Show, Travel & Adventure Show, or Fitness Expo, DEMA is requesting input from its Members on opportunities that should be on next year’s Pool stop line-up.
Over the years, the Pool has had a strong presence at Travel & Adventure Shows, Boat Shows and aquariums throughout the country. During each event, the Pool proves its value as a consumer awareness and new diver acquisition program. Within the first half of 2015, the Pool was viewed by more than 1,177,319 viewers as measured by the television stations publicizing the event.
In addition to receiving extensive media coverage, dive retailers that volunteer at Pool stops, have the opportunity for local media coverage and to connect with potential new customers. Rich Holladay ofWaterdogs Scuba & Safety participated at the Be A Diver Pool during the Nashville Boat and Sport Show in January 2015 and found the Pool to be a useful marketing tool. He commented,
“Waterdogs Scuba & Safety LLC was proud to be part of the Be A Diver exhibit at the Nashville Boat and Sport Show. Even though we are actually located about an hour away, we were really able to connect with a target audience of nautically inclined customers. Several participants even mentioned they came to the show just to try scuba diving. Due to the contact and trial at the Show, we have already certified one military veteran and three other Scouts are almost complete with training. None of them were aware there was local diving available. The Be A Diver Pool fixed that! Thank you DEMA, for your outreach with this program and it does make a difference.”
Attendees not only have the chance to try scuba diving for free, but also test some of the latest and coolest scuba gear, provided on-site by sponsoring manufacturers; and learn about some of the best dive destinations including the Caribbean island of Bonaire, the official title-sponsor of the Pool. DEMA would like to thank all of the Pool’s sponsors for their ongoing support: Aqualung, Blue Steel, Bonica Dive, Cressi-Sub, Henderson, Liquid Image, Mares, Marine Sports, Oceanic, Pinnacle, ScubaPro, Sea & Sea, SeaLife, Sub Mersible Systems Inc., Tourism Corporation Bonaire, TUSA, and XS Scuba. DEMA would also like to extend a big welcome to the Pool’s newest sponsor, PADI & Scuba Schools International.
If Members have any recommendations on cities/shows the Pool should participate in, contact Dave Reidenbach, DEMA’s Pool Tour Coordinator, at bigwavedave@dema.org

Jim Gatacre and Dr. Richard Vann to Receive DEMA’s 2015 Reaching Out Award

** Honorees to be Recognized at the Mardi Gras-themed 2015 DEMA Awards Party Held at the Hard Rock Live Coliseum in Orlando, FL**

The Dive Industry will take a trip to The Big Easy at the 27th annual presentation of the prestigious Reaching Out Awards on November 6, 2015, where we celebrate New Orleans style at this year’s Mardi Gras-themed evening in honor of Jim Gatacre and Dr. Richard Vann, recipients of the 2015 DEMA Reaching Out Award (ROA). The newest inductees to DEMA’s Hall of Fame will be honored at this year’s DEMA Awards Party taking place at the Hard Rock Live Coliseum in Orlando, FL. First presented in 1989, DEMA’s Reaching Out Award honors leaders in the diving community whose significant contributions to the sport have elevated the industry on all levels. This year’s recipients will be joining an extraordinary list of distinguished past Honorees.

Jim Gatacre has spent his career dedicated to creating awareness and opportunities for divers with disabilities. Gatacre founded The Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) in 1981, and shortly thereafter, collaborated with several diver training organizations to develop the Physical Performance Requirements and Multi-Level Certification systems which enable scuba instructors to train and safely certify people with a wide range of physical capabilities.

In order to make diving more accessible worldwide, in 1984 Gatacre developed the HSA Resort Evaluation Program which has resulted in the creation of accessible dive destinations in remote areas throughout the world.

In 1986, Gatacre developed and implemented the HSA Instructor Training Course and wrote the HSA Instructor Manual, which has been translated into 10 languages. Over 2,000 SCUBA instructors in 45 countries have received training through the HSA Instructor Training Course. Seeing a need to increase the understanding of the unique needs of divers with different physical abilities, Gatacre developed and wrote the HSA Dive Buddy Manual and HSA Dive Buddy Certification training program in 1994. These training programs heighten the awareness of issues relevant to several disability types and help develop the skills required to assist and safely dive with physically challenged divers.

Gatacre is also responsible for creating the HSA Training Center Program, producing centers that offer support to HSA instructors and challenged divers, as well as diver education and certification programs from Open Water Diver through Course Director (Instructor Trainer). The HSA has 10 training centers internationally and 12 centers in the US.

Gatacre has also supervised and participated in the making of two films. Freedom in Depth (1985), filmed in California, features 19 handicapped divers and Jean-Michele Cousteau. To Fly in Freedom (1992), filmed in Fiji, features challenged divers from 6 countries, along with Jean-Michele Cousteau and his father Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

Gatacre has been a true pioneer in opening the world of diving to those with disabilities.

Dr. Richard Vann is a well-respected diving researcher, contributing to the sport of diving for the last 50 years through education, environmental physiology and undersea biomedical science. Dr. Vann has been affiliated with Ocean Systems, Inc., the US Navy Underwater Demolition Team-12, Duke Hyperbaric Center and has been the Technical Director of Divers Alert Network (DAN).

Dr. Vann’s accolades have included accomplishments such as the Johnson Space Center’s Group Achievement Award from NASA in 2011 and the Albert R. Behnke Award from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society in 2012 for outstanding scientific contributions to undersea biomedical activity.

Well known amongst the diving community is Dr. Vann’s work on the NOAA Diving Manual; Dr. Vann has been a contributor and editor of the chapter on Physiology in an attempt to both educate and keep divers safe. In addition, he has been a regular presenter at the NOAA/Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) Diving Physicians Course for many years. He has personally trained many of the hyperbaric physicians who are available to respond in the event of a diving accident. His contributions on decompression sickness knowledge have guided NASA extra-vehicular activities as well as post-dive flying procedures for recreational divers.

Dr. Vann has maintained a constant flow of high quality peer review conference and publication papers on diving related topics and has ensured that the technical aspects of diving have been made available to the diving community at large. Such is the case with his dedication and commitment to running and organizing two major diving conferences that have been open to all SCUBA divers: the DAN Technical Diving Conference (January 2008) and Rebreather Forum 3 (May 2012) organized by AAUS, DAN and PADI.

Dr. Vann has played a pivotal role in the active sharing of diving safety knowledge by leading DAN Research for many years, writing and lecturing for all levels, directing, developing or co-developing many special topics workshops.

Dr. Vann has worked tirelessly on behalf of the diving community, dedicating his career to improving the safety of others.

DEMA congratulates Jim Gatacre and Dr. Richard Vann for their exemplary, life-long service to our Industry. 

Further details about the 2015 DEMA Awards Party are available on the DEMA Show website where interested parties can purchase individual tickets from the DEMA Show registration system.  Large groups can reserve VIP tables of eight here.  Unique sponsorship opportunities are also available by contacting Colleen Vasquez atcvasquez@dema.org or (858) 616-6408 x106.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

DEMA Show 2015 Registration is Now Open!

** DEMA Members, Register by September 30th to Save With Early Bird Rates **
DEMA Show’s online attendee registration system is now open to qualifiedDive Industry professionals in pursuit of the right formula for success.  Join thousands of attendees from all over the world for the Industry’s only trade-only event for the Dive Industry, taking place November 4-7 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.  To register, visit the officialDEMA Show websiteWhile there, visitors can review exhibitor listings and booth locations using the interactive floorplan, book a room in the Official DEMA Show Hotel Block, and review information about DEMA Show Features.
Attendees can choose from three different packages when registering: Exhibits Only, the Seminar Package, and the Saturday-Only Immersion Pass.  Each package varies in price and opportunities.  You can view complete details on each by visiting the DEMA Show website.  2015 DEMA Members can save up to $125 on their DEMA Show registration package over the non-member rate when registering on or before the early registration deadline of September 30th.

DEMA Show will feature the Rosen Centre Hotel as the 2015 Show’s Host Hotel.  Conveniently located directly across from the South Hall of the Orange County Convention Center, Rosen Centre will offer DEMA Show Hotel block participants complimentary internet, complimentary access to the Fitness Center, free parking, and special hotel restaurant discounts all at the special DEMA Show rate of $175 per night* (weekday and weekend).  Exclusive Show booking opportunities are also available at the Hilton Orlando for $184/night* and the Days Inn for $92/night* (*plus state and local taxes).
Due to the close walking proximity to the South Hall from all of the 2015 DEMA block hotels, regular shuttle bus service WILL NOT be provided. Limited ADA accessible shuttle bus service will be offered during Show days for all three DEMA Block hotels upon request.

So what are you waiting for?  Register today!  Stay tuned to the DEMA Show website for the latest details on DEMA and Exhibitor-Sponsored Seminars, Show-related activities, DEMA Awards Party, and other information as the Show approaches. To have DEMA Show news delivered directly to your email, exhibitors should subscribe to the Show’s Exhibitor Companion.   Attendees are encouraged to subscribe to DEMA’s DEMAIL for important Show information, announcements, and Industry news.