The Utila Dive Festival was conducted this summer at the end of August, and was a week-long celebration of diving on the island of Utila in the Bay Islands of Honduras.
Utila is famous for its beautiful coral reefs, sheer walls and year round whale sharks and dolphins, and offers an array of dive training activities.
Participants in the inaugural Utila Dive Festival enjoyed specialized dive activities such as buoyancy workshops, fish ID presentations and dives, whale shark talks, treasure hunts, quiz nights, tec, sidemount and rebreather try dives, and there worth over $10000 of prizes given out during the week. Towards the end of the week all the dive operators conducted an environmental clean-up dive at various dive sites around the island and at the closing ceremony more prize winners from the week were announced and regulators, BCD's, sidemount rigs, GoPro cameras, Sealife cameras and local prizes including a week in a luxury resort were won. PADI Regional Manager Robert Sievens and Vice President Bob Coleman congratulated the festival organisers for their efforts and successes and we all look forward to next year’s event June 22nd to 28th 2013. During the closing ceremony, synchronised and timed for 9 pm, attendees who had purchased an environmentally friendly 'Chinese Lantern' collectively lit them and released into a beautiful moonlit evening for a spectacular closing, raising proceeds of $740 from the night from lantern sales to donate to Project AWARE.