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Local Cayman Islands group teams up with DAN to maintain on-island chamber

(DiverWire) As thousands of divers visit the three Cayman Islands each year to explore the beautiful coral reefs and observe the diverse marine life found beneath the waves, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) and its watersports members take diver safety and training very seriously. Ensuring that divers in Cayman have high quality, reputable operators with whom they can dive as well as trained personnel that can respond appropriately in the unlikely emergency scenario is critical to offering sage and reliable dive tourism product. Part of that is the presence of a hyperbaric chamber, which is a service offered by local company, Cayman Hyperbaric Services.

CITA presented a check for CI $1000 to Cayman Hyperbaric Services to provide new training materials for their information library and assist with further training so qualified team members could be on hand in the event that a diver needed to use the chamber’s services. The money was part of the proceeds from the International Underwater Film Festival, which took place in November 2012. ‘We are very pleased to be able to offer this donation to Cayman Hyperbaric Services,’ stated Jane van der Bol, executive director for CITA. ‘Supporting efforts that make Cayman a top dive destination–both because of the beauty of the underwater experience, as well as the confidence tourists have in the safety of our dive products–is what we work towards by hosting events such as the Underwater Film Festival.’

John Elliott, the representative from Cayman Hyperbaric Services who received the donation, was thrilled that CITA chose to support their continued efforts in Cayman. ‘We have been in the Cayman Islands for 40 years, offering a vital service for dive emergencies. This donation from CITA will allow us to update our library of information both in Grand Cayman and for our chamber in Cayman Brac.’

While CITA hopes that no one has to visit the hyperbaric chamber while visiting Cayman, it is assuring to know they are there with trained personnel to assist in the unlikely event that a diver would require their services.

Cayman Hyperbaric Services operates in conjunction with Diver’s Alert Network (DAN), an organization which promotes diver safety. In addition to supporting hyperbaric services, where divers who develop decompression sickness while diving go for treatment, DAN also has done much with lionfish safety in 2012. They put a public awareness campaign together to promote what one should do in the event of a lionfish sting. Their public service announcement is available on YouTube, and the lionfish envenomation cards are available free of charge from local watersports operators.