Mike Ball Fact File

Mike Ball has had a long and colourful history in the international diving scene.  Here are some of the highlights…

[Timeline | Awards]

Timeline

  1. Started Dive School in Townsville. First Australian dive school to use cylinder pressure gauges and BCD’s.
  2. Introduced the first dive skins/stinger suits to diving.
  3. Acquires the world’s first custom built twin hull dive vessel – ‘Watersport’. Built Australia’s most hi-tech dive shop and training facility.
  4. Built ‘Supersport’ – to expand service to Coral Sea.
  5. Built ‘Spoilsport’ – internationally credited as world’s best liveaboard.
  6. Expanded operations to Cairns.
  7. Purchased Bob and Dinah Halstead’s Telita.  Expanded operations into Papua New Guinea.  World’s first formal Solo Diving program.  Introduced 5 star liveaboard service to Papua New Guinea with Paradise Sport.
  8. Centralised operations at Cairns head office.
  9. Inducted into the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame at Grand Cayman Island.
  10. Introduced photo competition on every departure.
  11. Replaced Supersport in Cairns with Spoilsport.
  12. Closed Papua New Guinea service after 10 great years. Achieves advanced Ecotourism accreditation.
  13. Announces new rebreather service
  14. Celebrates 40 years of service to the diving industry.
  15. Foundation member of Global Shark Diving.
  16. Celebrates 20 years of offering Solo Diving to guests.

Awards

  1. Royal Humane Society Award
  2. Royal Humane Society Award
  3. Australian Tourism Awards: Award of Distinction Tour Operator Queensland Tourism Awards: Best Tour Operator Suncorp Tourism Awards: Best Tour Operator Dive Industry Trade & Travel Association: Scuba Excellence Award
  4. Rodale’s: Spoilsport Favourite Liveaboard – Top 5
    Rodale’s: Spoilsport Most Environmentally Sensitive – 1st Place
    Rodale’s: Supersport Best Food – Top 5
    Rodale’s: Supersport Favourite Liveaboard – Top 5
    Rodale’s: Supersport Most Environmentally Sensitive – Top 5
  5. Rodale’s: Spoilsport Favourite Liveaboard – Top 5
    Rodale’s: Spoilsport Most Environmentally Sensitive – Top 5
    Rodale’s: Supersport Favourite Liveaboard – 1st Place
  6. Rodale’s: Spoilsport Best Liveaboard – Top 5
    Rodale’s: Spoilsport Best Dive Staff – Top 10
    Rodale’s: Supersport Best Boat – Top 10
    Rodale’s: Supersport Best Value – Top 10
  7. Rodale’s: MBDE Best Liveaboard – Top 15
  8. Rodale’s: Spoilsport Best Liveaboard – Top 5
    Rodale’s: Spoilsport The Gold List – 1st Place
  9. Rodale’s: MBDE Most Popular Liveaboard – Top 15
  10. Rodale’s: Paradise Sport Best Liveaboard – Top 10
    Rodale’s: Spoilsport Best Liveaboard – Top 5
  11. Rodale’s: Spoilsport Best Liveaboard – Top 10
    Rodale’s: Supersport Best Liveaboard – Top 10
    Rodale’s: Supersport Best Liveaboard Staff – 1st Place
    Dive & Travel Awards: Supersport Best Liveaboard – Top 5
    DAN SEAP: Contribution to DAN Award
  12. Rodale’s: Spoilsport Top Liveaboard – Top 10
    Rodale’s: Supersport Top Liveaboard – Top 5
    Rodale’s: Supersport Top Liveaboard Staff – Top 5
  13. Octopus: MBDE Organisation of Best Dive Trip.
    Mike Ball: International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.
    Minke Whale Research Awards
  14. Minke Whale Research Awards
  15. Minke Whale Research Awards
  16. Minke Whale Research Awards
  17. Fodor’s Choice Award: Fodor’s Travel Choice
    Minke Whale Research Awards
  18. SDI/TDI: Outstanding Achievement Award
    Australia’s 20 Best Experiences Awards – Australia’s Best Dive Experience
    PADI: ‘Making Divers Smile Since 1969’ Award.
  19. SDI/TDI: Top Performing Facility Award 2013 – Oceania Region.
    Dive Log: Australia’s Best Liveaboard
  20. TNQ Tourism Awards. Finalist – Adventure Tourism. QLD Tourism Awards. Silver Award – Adventure Tourism.
    Dive Log: Australia’s Best Liveaboard
  21. SDI/TDI: Completing the most Computer Nitrox and Solo Diving Courses in 2017. (Outstanding Instructor Award – Julia Sumerling & Laurence Buckingham)