Outstanding women every scuba diver should know!

Last updated: February 5, 2019 at 2:09 am

This ongoing series features a non-exhaustive selection of notable women from all generations, nationalities and fields of expertise. These trailblazing underwater women have inspired so many divers to follow their passion, live their dream, and make a difference. Read their full biographies and discover hundreds more notable diving personalities, diving records and 6,000 years of diving history in the Who’s Who chapter of the Diving Almanac & Book of Records.

Sylvia Earle

Dr. Earle (1935- ) is a scientist, author,
and underwater record holder. She has
logged over 7,000 hours underwater,
and she led the first team of women
aquanauts in 1970. She is an Explorer-
in-Residence for the National
Geographic Society and the leader
of Mission Blue. Dr. Earle is known
as "Her Deepness."

© Mission Blue


Eugenie Clark

Known as "The Shark Lady," Dr.
Clark (1922-2015) was a marine
biologist, author, public speaker, and
a pioneer in marine conservation and
the study of shark behaviour. She
founded the world famous Mote
Marine Laboratory in 1955. She was
an inaugural inductee of the Women
Divers Hall of Fame.

© Mote Marine Lab


Valerie Taylor

Mrs. Taylor (1936- ) is a pioneer
underwater explorer, a filmmaker,
an ocean conservationist, and a
photographer. She was the first
woman to film the white shark, the
first to dive with the white shark
without a cage, and she co-invented
the chain-mail shark suit. She was an
inaugural inductee of the Women Divers
Hall of Fame.


Lotte Hass

Lotte Baierl Hass (1928-2015)
was a diving and underwater
photography pioneer. Mrs. Hass was
the first underwater model and she
played the lead role in underwater
natural history films. Mrs. Hass, who
opened the way for thousands of
female scuba divers, was an
inaugural inductee of the Women
Divers Hall of Fame.

© Hans Hass Institute


Jill Heinerth

Jill Heinerth is a technical diver and instructor, a
filmmaker, public speaker, author and an expert legal
witness. She has set record dives including caving
exploits and iceberg exploration.

Mrs. Heinerth is a NOGI Fellow
(2017) and she was an inaugural
inductee of the Women Divers
Hall of Fame.

© Into the Planet


Zale Parry

Zale Parry is an underwater actress
and stuntwoman (Sea Hunt, Kingdom
of the Sea, Voyage to the Bottom of
the Sea). She was the first woman
to descend below 200 ft (209 ft / 64 m)
in 1954. She was an inaugural
inductee of the Women Divers
Hall of Fame.

© ISDHOF Tribute


Simone Cousteau

© Ocean Futures

Simone Melchior Cousteau (1919-1990)
was the first female scuba diver and
aquanaut. For nearly 40 years, she
played a leading role in dozens of
expeditions aboard the Calypso. She
was also known as "La bergère" (The
Shepherdess) and the "Soul of the
Calypso." She was an inaugural
inductee of the WDHOF.


Becky Kagan Schott

Becky Kagan-Schott (1982- ) is an underwater
videographer, photographer, and technical
instructor. Her images from around the
world, which include many sequences
from cave diving expeditions, have won
her multiple Emmy Awards. Becky is a
Fellow of the Explorers Club and
a member of the Women
Divers Hall of Fame.

© Liquid Productions


Haenyo and Ama

Haenyo (sea women) of Jeju Island
(South Korea) took over diving from
men in the 18th century
because they were exempt
from a new tax. Ama
(sea person) divers of
Japan, have been diving
for food and pearls for
around 2,000 years.


Nathalie Lasselin

underwater cinematographer
based in Quebec. As a
technical diver and instructor,
she has filmed and explored
deep wrecks, caves, and
bodies of water in more
than 50 countries.

© Pixnat


Alese Pechter

Photojournalist; author; teacher;
co-author of What’s in the Deep:
An Underwater Adventure for
Children, the first Children’s book
using underwater photographs.
Helped rebrand diving from a
male oriented activity to
include women and children.

© Pechter Photo

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