Local PSA’s created on dive safety and conservation

| 19/09/2013

(CNS): Dive industry legend Dan Orr who until recently was the driving force behind the Divers Alert Network (DAN) has joined forces with local agencies to create a series of public safety video clips to help the word on watersports safety and Marine Conservation. Orr stars in the “Share Our Seas” Public Service Announcements which will be televised in the Cayman Islands this autumn. In partnership with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) which is launching the campaign aimed at raising awareness of diver safety and conservation among residents and visitors. The on-camera star, Orr was filmed on location at Sunset House in early September where he reminds locals and visitors about basic safety in the ocean.

“The PSA’s are important because you have to continually remind divers about safety,” said Orr. “It’s important to have a regular physical, especially after 35, or any time there is a health related change in your life.”

In addition to staying physically fit for diving, Orr will be reminding divers to observe other safety measures such as having proper scuba certifications, refreshing their dive skills, getting a proper medical clearance, ensuring their dive gear is in proper condition and doing complete buddy checks.

“There’s no one even close that walks the walk that Dan does on diver safety,” said Sunset House General Manager Keith Sahm who has been Orr’s dive buddy and knows first-hand how safety conscious he is.  “Dan looked at me eye to eye, and we did a complete check list – he’s a true, true buddy.”

After his departure from Divers Alert Network was announced, Sahm and his wife Karin invited Dan Orr and his wife Betty to enjoy a week of complimentary accommodations and diving at Sunset House.

“This is our way to say ‘thank-you’ to the pioneer of diver safety,” he said. “Diver’s Alert Network and DAN Insurance are vital to resorts like Sunset House. If there are any questions about whether someone is at risk diving, we can call DAN and talk to their team of medical professionals who give us good advice and take away the guess work.”

CITA said that its watersports members have long wanted to be more proactive in raising awareness of ocean safety and marine conservation among visitors and the decision was made earlier this summer to produce public service announcements. With Orr on the island for his dive vacation, Sahm, a CITA board member, saw the perfect opportunity to get the PSA’s shot.  He enlisted the services of in-house videographer Tony Mark of the Cathy Church Photo Centre and asked Dan Orr to help out.

Through the PSA’s resident and visitors will also be reminded to respect the marine environment, not litter and clean up trash when they come across it.  Divers will be asked to be responsible when culling lionfish and dispose of the fish properly and to stay within the 200-yard marker when swimming, use a flag when diving and snorkeling and remind those on powered watercraft to be respectful of dive flags and buoys.

CITA plans to launch the public service announcements at the Underwater Film Festival on November 13 and hopes to have them aired in theaters, on local TV and radio, plus in-house TV channels at all major hotels.  CITA will also promote the PSAs through social media.

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