Explorer, adventurer and pioneering cave and technical diver Jarrod Jablonski is the recipient of the 2018 DAN Rolex Diver of the Year Award.
“DAN Rolex Diver of the Year Award winners — and nominees — are among the industry’s most committed and passionate members,” said Bill Ziefle, DAN President and CEO. “We received nominations from around the world, and Jarrod stood out because of his outstanding contributions to diver training and safety. It is our great pleasure to recognize Jarrod’s important work with this award.”
First certified as a recreational diver in 1984, Jablonski began cave diving in college and became a certified cave diver in 1989. He began his career as a cave diving instructor in 1990 in Ginnie Springs, Florida, where he taught until 1996. While serving as training director for the Woodville Karst Plain Project (WKPP), Jablonski identified a need for improved safety practices among cave and technical divers. In 1998 he founded Global Underwater Explorers (GUE), a nonprofit training and educational organization for recreational, technical and cave divers with a strict emphasis on safety.
“I’d like to express my deepest appreciation to DAN and Rolex for their significant contributions to the sport of scuba diving,” said Jablonski. “Throughout my career, both DAN and Rolex have remained prominent voices for underwater excellence. I’m very honored to join such a prestigious group of award recipients.”
Jablonski is president not only of GUE but also of Halcyon Manufacturing, which he founded in 2000. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society diving committee, offering guidance in safe diving practices and medical fitness to dive. He has made more than 10,000 dives and holds the records for the world’s longest cave penetration and the world’s longest cave penetration at depth — 19,000 feet at a depth of 300 feet. Jablonski is a fellow of The Explorers Club and in 2014 he took on dive safety, training and operational responsibilities for the Deep Diving Facility at the Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
As the 2018 DAN Rolex Diver of the Year, Jablonski received a specially engraved Oyster Perpetual Submariner. Rolex generously supports the awards presented by DAN as well as DAN’s medical research, services, safety education and first-aid training.
The DAN Rolex Diver of the Year Award began as a grant to DAN in the late 1980s to recognize its important work in dive safety. Over the years it evolved into an annual award, complete with a specially engraved Rolex watch, that acknowledges an individual’s contributions to diving and dive safety. The award is presented to “… an individual who has made significant contributions to dive safety and/or the DAN mission over the past year.” For more information on the DAN Rolex Diver of the Year Award, or to learn about past recipients, go to DAN.org.
The world’s most recognized and respected dive safety organization, Divers Alert Network (DAN) has remained committed to the health and well-being of divers for 38 years. The organization’s research, medical services and global-response programs support an extensive network capable of reaching divers with vital injury-prevention initiatives, educational programs and lifesaving evacuations. Every day, hundreds of thousands of divers around the world look to DAN as their dive safety organization.
Rolex, a Swiss watch manufacture headquartered in Geneva, is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products. Its Oyster and Cellini watches, all certified as Superlative Chronometers for their precision, performance and reliability, are symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. Founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905, the brand pioneered the development of the wristwatch and is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism invented in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Through philanthropic programs and a broad palette of sponsorship activities, Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports and exploration, and encourages the spirit of enterprise, as well as the conservation of natural environments.