Local mariners honoured at dive awards

| 06/11/2013

(CNS): During this year’s International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame awards two local men will also be honoured for their outstanding contributions to the Cayman Islands dive industry. Capt Glen Gleason Ebanks and Norbert Scott will both be recognized during the ceremony taking place on Tuesday 12 November. Deputy premier and tourism minister, Moses Kirkconnell, said it was an honour to have the two local pioneers inducted into the ISDHF.

“Each of these individuals has made an impact on a very important industry to the Cayman Islands,” he said. “Their work, and the work of the Hall of Famers before them, collectively speaks to the global participation in this ethereal sport. We are pleased that the ISDHF is thriving as we celebrate its thirteenth year, and hope that the efforts continue to be appreciated in the dive community locally and around the globe.”

Founded in 2000 by the Cayman Tourism Ministry and the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame (ISDHF), dive enthusiasts come together on an annual basis to recognise those who have dedicated their lives to the positive development of the sport and the industry. Consequently, at the gala event, the two local honourees will join Rolf Schmidt & Petra Roeglin, Paul Bert, Dr Guy Harvey, Bert Kilbride and Sam Davison as the 2013 Hall of Fame inductees.

Captain Glen Gleason Ebanks: Affectionately known as Captain Gleason, he was born 28 August 1928 to Elvin and Florence Ebanks. At the tender age of 14, he took his first sea voyage to Nicaragua on the turtling vessel, the Jemson. Due to his young age he was given the nickname "Young Captain" and embarked on numerous other fishing and turtling trips on board the Antaraus and the Wilson, amongst others. As a young adult he gained invaluable experience and joined the bigger fleet tanker companies, such as the Southwell and Matyson.

These trips were very lengthy at times and Captain Gleason was away from Cayman for extended periods of time. However, he always maintained a close relationship with his family. Although he enjoyed his voyages, his heart was at home and he returned to assist his wife, the late Greta Ebanks, with the rearing of their children.

Being an ambitious and knowledgeable man, he established his own boat business catering to the tourism industry by providing North Sound fishing charters and beach lunches. Captain Gleason was also one of the founders of the popular Stingray City. At the age of 85, Captain Gleason still enjoys the open water and operates his 53 foot boat known as the "Seafire" offering charters.

Norbert Scott: Having been introduced to diving at the age of 14 by Ken Martin in Little Cayman, Norbert Scott became a certified dive master at the age of 18 while working with Brac Aquatics. His diving career spanned 20 years, during which he assisted in setting up dive operations for Sam McCoy at Pirates Point and Craig Burns at Dive Tiara. He made approximately 15,000 dives in his career. Scott, along with fellow dive masters, Ken Scott and Cornell Burke, and the Department of Environment Marine staff established the first permanent dive moorings in Cayman Brac.

Scott was a popular dive master and well-liked by his regular customers, who continue to ask for him when they visit the island. His favourite dive sites include West Chute, Wilderness Wall, Greenhouse and Elkhorn Forest in Cayman Brac; Jackson Wall and Bloody Bay Wall in Little Cayman. He also has the distinction of having a popular dive site named after him in the Brac: Norbert’s Reef.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend this gala event to support these innovative pioneers. Tickets can be purchased at the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. Tables of 10 are also available at a discounted rate of purchase 9 and receive one ticket free. For more information the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, please visit the website at www.scubahalloffame.com or contact the Department of Tourism on 949 0623 to purchase tickets.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The 9th Annual Underwater Film Festival is on Wednesday Nov 13 at Camana Bay Cinema.  Opens at 6:30, first screening at 7pm.  Tickets $25 from CITA.  Highly recommend for the whole family!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Norbert & the guys were "Great" the Mountain Bay Dive group from Appleton, WI enjoyed going with them. I still see Norbert as I now live on Cayman Brac..

  3. pmilburn says:

    Congrats to two well deserving members of the Watersports Industry.

    • SSM345 says:

      Congrats to both, can we nominate Capt. Charles "Nah Today Bobo" Ebanks for his efforts both on land and sea?

      • Anonymous says:

        Into the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame?!?

      • Jill Grasshopper says:

        I am a verry proud Caymanian and to see two Caymanians been honored for their hard work in making this tourism such a valueable product today is great.

  4. Len Layman says:

    I had the pleasure to work with Norbert at Divi back in the early to mid 90's.  This is a well desrved honor and I congratulate him.