Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Stuart Cove and Dr. Lee Somers to Receive DEMA’s 2013 Reaching Out Award

Honorees to be Recognized at the Beatles-Themed 2013 DEMA Awards Party Held at the Hard Rock Live Coliseum in Orlando, FL

The Dive Industry will Come Together” on November 8, 2013, to celebrate the extraordinary careers of Stuart Cove and Dr. Lee Somers, the recipients of the 2013 DEMA Reaching Out Award (ROA). The newest inductees to DEMA’s Hall of Fame will be honored at this year’s Beatles-themed DEMA Awards Party taking place at the Hard Rock Live Coliseum in Orlando, FL. First presented in 1989, the ROA 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.

Stuart Cove is known by most people in the Dive Industry for his work in the Bahamas and the impact it has had on the reputation of sharks. Born and raised in the Bahamas, Stuart has been exploring the waters of Nassau as a captain and dive guide his entire life.

Cove began his career in diving by working as a self-described “gofer” on a tourist snorkeling excursion when he was 10 years old. He left Western University in Canada in his second year to pursue his love of diving as a business. He started Coral Harbour Divers using a few tanks and one of his father’s boats to take tourists diving on the diverse sites of the Southwest side of New Providence.

In 1979, Cove was hired as a diver on the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only enabling him to buy his first boat. In 1983, he was offered the Watersports concession at the prestigious five-star Lyford Cay Club and his business boomed. The business was instantly a success, and Stuart and his wife acquired the South Ocean Golf and Beach Resort Dive Center in 1992 where the main operation is located today. Not only is Cove a pioneer within the Bahamas Dive Industry, he is also a significant force within Hollywood, having twice made “Hollywood’s 100 Most Influential People,” list for his work in many blockbuster movies and TV programs.

In 2010, Cove was the recipient of the prestigious Cacique Sustainable Tourism Environmental award by the Bahamas Government. That same year he founded “Children of the Reef,” a non-profit foundation that offers underprivileged children an opportunity to experience the local oceans and reefs. He is also responsible for placing 22 artificial reefs to date in the waters around New Providence, adding significantly to the wreck system in the Bahamas. For the past 10 years, he has served on the award-winning National Coastal Awareness Committee, and chaired the Clean-Up sub-committee. Aside from land-based initiatives, Cove has campaigned successfully to help create a ban on long-line fishing, and most recently, assisted the creation of the ban on shark fishing and finning in Bahamian national waters.

Dr. Lee Somers was one of the earliest certified scuba instructors in the U.S. He was dually certified by the YMCA Scuba Program and NAUI. From the beginning, Dr. Somers understood the importance of a comprehensive educational experience in scuba diving and developed such a program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Besides teaching courses that addressed virtually every facet of diving, he developed one of the most highly regarded instructor education programs. The program attracted instructor candidates from all over the globe and resulted in the certification of NAUI instructors representative of a “Who’s Who” in the contemporary diving world.

Having created the Research Diving Program at the University of Michigan, Dr. Somers was a scuba legend in the Midwest. He established a hyperbaric research facility at the University of Michigan, conducting some of the earliest pressure-related research as well as proving opportunities for countless recreational divers to experience a ‘chamber orientation,’ including pressurization in a hyperbaric chamber. He was the author of dozens of diver safety publications as part of the University of Michigan Diver Education Series, along with the Research Divers Manual and articles on a wide variety of topics from oceanography to diver education.

Dr. Somers has served our sport and Industry well and served as a member of the board of directors with many organizations including the AUAS, IANTD, NAUI, Our World Underwater and the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society. He has also been recognized by his peers as a past recipient of the NOGI Award for Sports/Education, the Leonard Greenstone Award for Diving Safety and the DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year. Dr. Somers has been a mentor to many of the leaders in the diving world today and is still sought out for advice on almost everything related to the sport or science of diving.

DEMA congratulates Stuart Cove and Dr. Lee Somers for their continued, life-long service to our Industry.
Further details about the 2013 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 ten or VIP balcony suites for groups of 15-30 by contacting Colleen Vasquez at cvasquez@dema.org or (858) 616-6408 x106.  Unique sponsorship opportunities are also available.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lionfish Public Safety Announcement (PSA) Released In Conjunction With Florida’s Waiving Of The Requirement For License To Harvest Lionfish

PSA Created by DEMA and Divers Alert Network (DAN) Provides First Aid Instructions to Those Diving Near Lionfish

DEMA releases PSA aimed at providing effective basic first aid instructions for Lionfish. Release comes in conjunction with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) adopting changes that will waive the recreational license requirement for divers harvesting Lionfish using certain gear. The FWC has also excluded Lionfish from the commercial and recreational bag limits, allowing people to take as many invasive fish as they can.

The 30-second PSA provides divers with fundamental knowledge on how to immediately and effectively treat an injury sustained due to a Lionfish encounter . The PSA is available online on the Be A Diver YouTube channel and viewers are encouraged to share the PSA with others.

“With FWC lifting the license requirement to keep Lionfish, it will make it easier for Florida divers to help control the Lionfish population,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “While more divers will now be hunting for Lionfish it is imperative for divers to equip themselves with proper first aid knowledge. By promoting this PSA we hope to empower divers with the knowledge necessary to quickly and properly handle an encounter with the venomous lionfish.”

Lionfish are an invasive species already spread throughout the Atlantic coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Their simple presence along with organized culling increases the likelihood of envenomation of recreational divers and fishermen. You can find more detailed information about the Lionfish Invasion and how you can help at www.reef.org/lionfish.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DEMA Show 2013 Registration Now Open: DEMA Members Register by October 11th to Receive Early Registration Discount

DEMA Show’s online Attendee registration system is now open to qualified Dive Industry professionals looking to take control of their career and their business.  Join thousands of Attendees from all over the world for the Industry’s only trade-only event for the Dive Industry, taking place in Orlando, FL, November 6-9, 2013.  To register, visit the official DEMA Show website, an invaluable resource for all Exhibitors and Attendees.  The site currently features everything from Show registration guidelines and an interactive floorplan, to Official Hotel Block information  and an overview of DEMA Show Features.
So what are you waiting for?  Register today!  DEMA Show 2013 currently offers three different registration options for those looking to attend the Show:  Exhibits Only Registration, 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.  2013 DEMA Members can save up to $125 on their DEMA Show registration package over the non-member rate and can save EVEN more by registering before the early registration deadline of October 11, 2013. 
Once again, DEMA Show will feature the Rosen Centre Hotel as this year’s Host Hotel.  The Rosen Centre is conveniently located directly across from the South Hall of the Orange County Convention Center – home to DEMA Show 2013.  Those booking in DEMA’s block at the Rosen Centre will receive complimentary internet, complimentary access to the Fitness Center, free parking and special hotel restaurant discounts all at the special DEMA Show rate of $165 per night* (weekday and weekend).  For those looking to benefit from even bigger savings, specially-priced DEMA hotel block rooms will also be offered at the Hilton Orlando for $159/night*, the Days Inn for $89/night* and the Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando for $89/night* (*plus state and local taxes).
Complimentary shuttle bus service for those booking within the DEMA Show Hotel Block will be provided to and from the South Hall for those booking rooms at the Days Inn and Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando during Show dates.  Due to the close walking proximity to the South Hall, shuttle bus service will not be provided from the Rosen Centre nor the Hilton Orlando.
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 and Attendees are encouraged to subscribe to DEMA’s DEMAIL for important Show information, announcements and Industry news.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Underwater Treasure Hunt Provides Retailers with Opportunities to Offer Customers Compass Navigation & Search and Recovery Courses

The summer dive season is in full swing and retail store owners, store staff and instructors are searching for new ways to engage their customers and encourage them to take their dive skills to the next level. DiveCaching is the perfect activity to help you promote local diving within your community and encourage your current customers to refine and further develop their diving skills.

DiveCaching, an underwater treasure hunt for certified scuba divers, is designed to help support fun local diving and includes the use of technology and a few basic diving skills such as navigation, buoyancy control and search and recovery techniques. Using DiveCaching, retailers can promote a fun and simple local diving activity and encourage their customers to improve their treasure-hunting skills by enrolling in continuing education classes. DiveCaching gives divers a new and unique reason to get back in the water and improve all their diving skills, as well as update their diving equipment for the season.

Along with maintaining proper buoyancy, using an underwater compass is extremely useful when searching for these underwater treasures. Divers hiding caches typically provide compass headings and distances as part of the DiveCaching descriptions, and divers have a greater chance of finding the DiveCache by knowing how to use the compass properly. Since the typical GPS device cannot pick up satellite signals through the surface of the water and the level of precision for most GPS devices will require some searching for the DiveCache, learning how to use underwater search patterns while maintaining neutral buoyancy and kicking properly will increase your chances of finding the DiveCache. Divers can improve their buoyancy skills and learn a number of search techniques from their instructor and retail store that will help them locate the DiveCache, even in low visibility.

“DiveCaching is fun all on its own and is the perfect reason to get divers to refresh the navigation and buoyancy skills they learned in their entry-level scuba classes and promote additional training in navigation and search and recovery classes,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “Our Member retailers are always looking for fresh ideas to get their customers coming back to further their dive education. DiveCaching accomplishes this and much more! From combined DiveCaching and Geocaching activities for the entire family to DiveCaching puzzles and contests like DEMA’s pilot DiveCaching promotion, the Diving for Texas Treasure Challenge, DiveCaching is a great new activity that can benefit divers and Dive Industry professionals alike!”

For more information on how to promote continuing education with DiveCaching visit www.DiveCaching.orgor DEMA Members can log into their Member Dashboard to access the Member-Only DiveCaching Toolkit (located under “Research and Educational Guides”).