Wednesday, April 29, 2015

DEMA Requests Nominees for 2015 Reaching Out Awards

**Deadline to Submit Nomination Form is 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, May 27, 2015**

DEMA is requesting nominations for the prestigious Reaching Out Award. Industry professionals are asked to consider nominating colleagues who have made the most positive contributions to the growth and sustainability of the Diving Industry, going beyond the norm of their day-to-day jobs and reaching out to make a difference for all. Nomination alone for this internationally recognized award is an achievement to be celebrated, and recipients are the true luminaries of the Industry. Acknowledging your colleague’s phenomenal influence on our Industry is a crucial part of carrying their legacy into the future in order to help our Industry grow and thrive.

Since 1989 the Reaching Out Award has been presented to individuals who have advanced the Industry in unique ways, often developing products, programs, services and events that changed diving for the better. Areas of contribution have included equipment design, exploration, photography, publishing, retailing, science, training, travel and water safety. For details about nomination requirements and selection criteria, review the 2015 Reaching Out Award Nomination Form.  All nominees must have been active in the Diving Industry for a minimum of 10 years and made a significant contribution to the sport of scuba diving.

Selected recipients are inducted into the Industry’s Hall of Fame as the leaders and heroes of our sport; the people who have helped make diving what it is today.  DEMA continues to honor recipients each year during the annual DEMA Show, including acknowledgment in the onsite Hall of Fame booth and during the Industry’s premiere networking event, The DEMA Awards Party. This year’s event will take place Friday, November 6th. Further details including ticket and table pricing as well as sponsorship opportunities can be found on the DEMA Show website.

Get started on your nominations now!  If you have any questions about submitting a Reaching Out Award nomination contact Joyce Washington at (858) 616-6408 x101 or  

UPDATE: DEMA Public Policy Alert - Department of Navy Rules for Diving on Sunken Military Vessels

In the spring of 2014, discussion took place among members of the diving community regarding a January 6, 2014Federal Register notice (beginning on page 620; 32 CFR Part 767; RIN 0703-AA90) pertaining to the ability of divers to access "sunken military vessels."  At that time, and on behalf of the industry, DEMA reached out to the Department of Navy (DoN) to determine the extent to which the provisions of this Federal Register would impact routine recreational scuba diving activities in or about sunken vessels/wrecks.  A copy of the request for clarification can beaccessed here.  In response to DEMA's request for clarification, DEMA received a favorable response from the DoN.

In particular, and on behalf of Dr. Robert Neyland, Head of the Naval History and Heritage Command, DEMA received a letter from Dr. J.B. Thomas, assuring DEMA and its Members that recreational divers diving in or near sunken military vessels were not the focus of the regulations.  The entirety of the Navy's response can be accessed here.  To summarize, the Navy advised DEMA:
  1. Diving on former Navy and ex-military vessels such as theOriskany, Vandenberg, Radford, Spiegel Grove, etc.,purposefully sunk to establish artificial reefs, is not an activity covered by the regulations because title to these vessels was expressly divested.  There are regulations that might apply from NOAA FKNMA, and at some time in the future the DoN and NOAA-FKNMA will be entering into a Memorandum of Understanding on their respective roles.  We will continue to monitor this process as it develops.
  2. Diving near and around sunken military craft is not prohibited.  A permit would be required only if the diver intended to disturb, remove, or injure a sunken military craft or terrestrial military craft.  Only intentional or negligent actions that disturb the craft would be considered as violations of the Act.  We expect that at some time in the future additional regulations or clarifications will be published to effectuate the DoN position on this issue.
Recent rumors that sport divers were being banned from diving on military shipwrecks or wrecks that had any affiliation with the military are not accurate. However, removing artifacts from military shipwrecks is prohibited without a permit.  DEMA will continue its interaction with the DoN, the NOAA-FKNMA, and their partners and monitor this process of developing regulations.  To date the clarifications provided have confirmed that reasonable and responsible diving activities near to and around sunken military craft can continue. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Snorkeling Safety & Preparation Poster from DEMA Provides Helpful Tips for Your Snorkeling Customers

DEMA has released a new poster aimed at boosting preparedness for a snorkeling adventure and provides tips for your customers to make the most of their experience. The complimentary poster is available online now for DEMA Members to print or share with their local and online communities.

“Many tourists enjoy the idea of snorkeling from a tropical beach or from a tour boat and one of our goals in producing this poster is to remind them of the opportunity to visit a local dive center and learn to safely make the most of their time in the water. Snorkeling is a fun activity, but participants can get so much more from the experience with a little professional dive center advice,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA.

Snorkelers are encouraged to visit a local dive center to get properly fitted for a mask, snorkel and fins as well as to inquire about local conditions, access points, and snorkeling techniques.

The safety poster is part of DEMA’s ongoing efforts to increase snorkeler and diver awareness of safety measures when participating in these activities. The poster is available on to be viewed, shared and downloaded. The poster will also be promoted online via the DEMA, Be A Diver and DiveCaching Twitter and Facebook pages.