Dr. James Poulson (posthumously)
The late Dr (Doc) James (Jimmie) Poulson opened the Cayman Clinic on Crewe Road, a successful medical practice. Doc Poulson advanced the crucial medical care for divers by helping set up the first hyperbaric chamber on Grand Cayman, used for the treatment of decompression sickness.
Originally the chamber was situated at the George Town Hospital and then when the hospital needed the space it was moved behind the Cayman Clinic. Since the early 70s the British Sub-Aqua Club ran it until 1996 when it was taken over by John and Ann Elliott. Because of Doc Poulson’s contribution and the many, many free hours he put into helping the volunteers operate the hyperbaric chamber there is a popular dive site on Grand Cayman named after him – “The Doc Poulson”.
The Doc Poulson was the first purpose sunk vessel in the Cayman Islands. It was originally a Japanese cable laying ship and was sunk in Grand Cayman in 1981 to create an artificial reef on Seven Mile Beach. The 70 ft. long wreck sits upright in about 50 to 60 feet of water and is a part of the Islands’ diving history.
Director of Tourism, Mrs. Rosa Harris, said, “These individuals have devoted much of their lives to the diving industry in the Cayman Islands and to ensuring that our magnificent underwater environment is accessible to ever increasing numbers of avid water sports and dive enthusiasts. Their respective contributions have solidified that the Cayman Islands retain its reputation as one of the best diving locations in the world and for their efforts the destination is extremely grateful. It is a proud moment when we can recognise the local honourees to not only honour them for their role in the development of dive but also for the contributions to tourism.”
Founded in 2000 by the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism, the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame recognises international and local Cayman pioneers who have made outstanding contributions to the recreational scuba diving industry, in a yearly ceremony held in the Grand Cayman.