When the Women Divers' Hall of Fame
met in plenary session in New York recently, they elected long time Antigua resident
Martha Watkins Gilkes as their President.
The Women Divers' Hall of Fame is
an international not-for-profit organization established to recognize the elite and
outstanding women divers whose achievements have enriched the worldwide scuba diving
As a part of their mission the
Women Divers' Hall of Fame provides educational, financial, and mentorship resources and
support for women divers of all ages, but especially those who are preparing for
professional careers in diving. Members are leading women divers throughout the world
whose dramatic contributions to the underwater world may be found in the arts, sciences,
medicine, sport, exploration, archeology, media, safety, education, service business,
environment and conservation.
The Women Divers' Hall of Fame new President, Martha Watkins Gilkes (right with Zale
Parry, Ingénue from the TV series Sea Hunt, Author, and ombudsman for the
dive industry, left) has been a professional scuba diving instructor since 1979. For
twenty-five years she has worked with such professional underwater filmmakers as Stan
Waterman of Blue water, White Death.
Martha holds instructor ratings in
the scuba diving skills of Wreck Diving, Night Diving, Deep Diving, Underwater Photography
and Medic First Aid In 1994 she received the coveted Platinum Pro 5000 Award for achieving
over 5000 hours underwater exploring shipwrecks, caves and caverns, in both salt water and
fresh water environments throughout tropical and cold water diving throughout the world.
Martha has earned these accomplishments diving through the oceans of the
Martha has worked for over 20 years for the promotion and conservation of the marine
environment in the press and media throughout the Caribbean. She is a leading women
diver/explorer of the Eastern Caribbean, having explored and documented shipwrecks on 14
Caribbean Islands as well as other shipwrecks worldwide .
Today, Martha Watkins Gilkes is Antigua based, and serves as Diving Liaison Officer for
the Historical and Archaeology Society of Antigua and Barbuda. She continues to be an
ardent marine conservationist and environmentalist dedicated to promoting of freedom of
dolphins throughout the world.
Martha served for four years as the WDHOF President before passing the baton. In 2009 she
became the WDHOF Fund Raising Chairlady to raise funds for the WDHOF scholarship fund (see
www.wdhof.org for more on the scholarships).
Martha has published two books on diving in the Caribbean: SHIPWRECKS
OF THE CARIBBEAN and a sequel to DIVING GUIDE OF THE
EASTERN CARIBBEAN. Both books were published by Macmillan in London.