Bert Kilbride

Bert Kilbride

Herbert "Bert" Kilbride was born March 8, 1914 in Springfield MA. His Mother taught him to swim at an early age; in fact he couldn't remember a time he couldn't swim. His mother made him a dive mask when he was only 8 years.

Bert moved to South Florida in 1945 and was in the construction business. He moved to St. Croix, USVI, in 1956 and then he moved to the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in1964, living there until 2005.

He was an inventor, a builder, a contractor, and an entrepreneur. He had bought and developed two barren islands and owned a SCUBA diving tour business for 30 years.

In the 1960's he created the "Resort Course" for the beginners interested in SCUBA diving. It is now taught worldwide under the name "Introductory SCUBA Course." In 1987 he was awarded the New Orleans Grand Isle (NOGI) Award for SPORTS/EDUCATION for the creation of the resort course.

He was made the "Receiver of Wrecks" by Queen Elizabeth in 1967 and called a "Pirate" by others in the BVI Government when he would not produce a map of the shipwrecks he had found on Anegada Reef (138 wrecks). In the 1990's, the governor of the BVI called him a "Living Legend" in his speech on the radio. In 2004, for his 90th birthday, Guinness Book of World Records proclaimed him the "Oldest Scuba Diver" in the world. He died in Etna, California on January 8, 2008.