Hall of Fame Inducts First Woman Cave-Diver

Hall of Fame Inducts First Woman Cave-Diver

The Women Divers Hall Of Fame inducted British diver Penelope ‘Mossy’ Powell into its 2024 class. Recognized posthumously, Powell was a pioneering cave-diver and co-authored a significant book on the subject. In 1935, she became “Diver No 2” in Britain’s first successful cave dive with breathing apparatus at Wookey Hole Caves. Powell was chosen for her exemplary calmness, fearlessness, and reliability, surpassing all expectations during the dive.

Safety Promotion

Meanwhile, the executive vice president of DAN Europe, Laura Marroni from Italy, was inducted into the Hall of Fame for her efforts in promoting diving safety. “Over the past few decades, we have made significant strides in enhancing the safety of our sport,” Marroni stated during the induction ceremony, held on March 23rd at the Beneath The Sea show in Secaucus, New Jersey.

She highlighted the contributions to safety improvements, including education for divers, procedural enhancements, and technological advancements in scuba gear. Additionally, she noted the improvements in emergency response, scientific research, and first-aid training for diving accidents.

“Today, I am especially proud to collaborate with our extensive team of DAN researchers, analysts, and volunteers on new projects. These projects aim to improve dive profile analysis and introduce new telemedicine tools for the community’s benefit,” Marroni expressed.

Growing up by the sea, Marroni started diving at eight and later became a technical and cave diver. With a background in economics, she assumed a pivotal role at DAN Europe and spearheaded research projects to explore the physiological impacts of diving on the human body.

Five from the USA

The Hall of Fame inducted five US divers: Ronnie Damico, Elizabeth Kintzing, Mikki McComb-Kobza, Robyn McGinn, and Samantha Whitcraft. Ronnie Damico, an instructor-trainer, emerged as a pioneering female figure in diving safety and leadership.

She began her journey as the diving officer for the USC Catalina Marine Science Centre in 1979. Elizabeth Kintzing, who has a 35-year career, is both an instructor and a diving and underwater science facilitator. She has conducted saturation diving in the Aquarius undersea lab. dived under the ice in Antarctica. and used rebreathers to research coral reefs as deep as 100 meters.

With a career spanning 40 years in shark conservation and advocacy, Mikki McComb-Kobza is known for her innovative techniques and the use of citizen science to understand white shark behavior and distribution better. She leads as the executive director of Ocean First Institute.

Robyn McGinn, who distinguished herself as the first US government civilian employee to graduate from Navy Dive School as “Class Honour Woman,. Now serves as the diving life-support systems program manager for the Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving. She is also in charge of managing the Navy’s Diving Depot.

Samantha Whitcraft, a marine conservation biologist and environmentalist, established “the first classroom-at-sea” in Gardens of the Queen, Cuba. She holds the position of executive director at the Sea of Change Foundation.

Founded in 1999, the WDHOF aims to honor divers who have significantly contributed to the underwater world’s exploration, understanding, safety, and enjoyment. It proudly includes 263 “Members in the Hall.”

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