Cave diving expert visits San Pedro

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 13, No. 19            May 22, 2003

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Cave diving expert Tom Mount

There are many ways to explore the shimmering underwater world in Belize, but not many people possess the courage or the stamina to dive into the dark mysterious waters of underwater caves. Tom Mount is one expert who possesses the technical experience to dive depths of up to 240 feet, and to instruct others on how to take part in this fascinating experience.

    A renowned international cave diver, Tom Mount last visited Belize nearly 20 years ago. Mr. Mount recently returned to San Pedro on May 10th, 2003 from Miami, Florida, to train Protech Belize personnel in the method of Closed Circuit Rebreathing (CCR).

    Mr. Mount brings with him 40 years of active diving leadership as the CEO of the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD), a certification agency that offers a full array of Nitrox, mixed-gas and technical diving programs. He has traveled to many other parts of the world including the Red Sea, South Pacific and Caribbean waters to observe the wonders of the underwater world. Mr. Mount has logged over 11,000 dives including cave and wreck dives, and has acquired thousands of hours performing rebreather dives. He explained rebreathing as "the method where you take an air supply, run it through a filter to remove the carbon dioxide, and rebreath it." He is also the author or co-author of numerous diving textbooks including: Safe Cave Diving, The New Practical Diving, The Greatest Adventure Photography, Mixed Gas Diving, and The Technical Enriched Air Nitrox Student Workbook.

    Mr. Mount's background includes being a former dive shop as well as commercial dive service owner (installing underwater cables), and a former Dive Officer at Miami's Rosensteil School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (RSMAS). He was also a Training Director at the YMCA SCUBA program, a Course Director for the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI), a NAUI Hyperbaric Chamber operator/supervisor, photojournalist, videographer and an offshore powerboat driver. Mr. Mount also has to his credit, time in the following fields: twin-engine pilot, diving consultant, licensed US Coast Guard/Merchant Marine Master (Captain) and being a Master of martial arts.

    Protech was honored to host Tom Mount, who has been featured in the well known books "Who's Who" as well as "Who's Who in Diving," where he was recognized for specialty programs in diving. He has also received the Platinum Pro Award, for having more than 5,000 dives, and the most prestigious recognized NOGI award, (given by the Underwater Society of America) for his endeavors in diving education (producing reading/teaching mat-erials- etc.).

    Mr. Mount enjoyed his stay in San Pedro immensely, but returned to the USA on May 20th, 2003. He hopes to visit our warm and friendly town again, and would like to urge all divers "to be educated properly" so that "exceptionally beautiful walls and canyons" remain some of the best underwater cave diving in the world.
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