Bonaire Says Goodbye to Diving Legend, Captain Don Stewart

Posted by Michelle Howard
Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It is with great sadness that the island of Bonaire continues to mourn the loss of Captain Don. He was one of the pioneers of diving tourism on Bonaire and legendary in his own right.
 
Upon his arrival on Bonaire, 52 years ago, Captain Don became one of the major forces behind establishing Bonaire’s dive tourism product. Because of his hard work and dedication to Bonaire’s marine life and conservation, Bonaire became the benchmark for marine parks all over the world. It is with deep appreciation, tremendous respect and in fact is a tribute to Captain Don that Bonaire continues to be recognized as the number 1 destination worldwide for shore diving and that it remains atop of the list for snorkeling.
 
In 1976, Captain Don founded Captain Don’s Habitat, as what he called a 100% environmental diving resort. The resort is now one of the island’s leading dive hotels. Captain Don was also instrumental in the movement and successful execution of the banning of spearfishing in Bonaire.
 
Throughout the years, Captain Don had received over 55 awards and had been recognized for this continued pioneering environmental leadership on Bonaire. He will truly be missed by everyone on/off the island and by the generations to come as they will hear his name in Bonaire’s history books.

We send our heartfelt condolences to Ms. Janet Thibault, Captain Don’s lifelong  partner who remained steadfast by his side. We thank him for making Bonaire what it is today and we are grateful he landed on Bonaire more than a half a century ago. Rest in peace Captain Don …

Maritime Reporter August 2014 Digital Edition
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