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Bob Soto
Father of Cayman Island Dive Operations


Bob Soto wall
Soto’s effect on the economy of Grand Cayman was remarkable. He became the driving force for diving in the Caribbean and in Grand Cayman in particular. His business grew over the years and so did the tourist business on the island. Hotels and condos and other dive shops sprung up on the island and everyone benefited.

After running his very successful business for 25 years, Bob was ready to move on. He sold the business to Ron Kipp, who renamed it Ron Kipp’s Bob Soto’s Diving for the next 22 years. Ron was a corporate man and understood what it took to grow a business. He took the dive shop to a whole new level and found great success with Bob Soto’s legacy.

Kipp sold the business to Dan Tibbett of Reef Divers, already based in the Caymans. It was then renamed Bob Soto’s Reef Divers, a good move, as Bob’s
Bob and Suzy Soto
name and reputation carried weight with divers everywhere. The business continued to draw divers until Hurricane Ivan hit Grand Cayman in 2005. After 50 successful years, Bob Soto’s Diving closed its doors for good. Ron Kipp said it best when he said that the dive industry in Cayman owes a large debt to Mr. Soto.

In all his years of diving, Bob never lost his passion for treasure hunting. He loved spending the day diving wrecks and sharing his love of diving with all he would meet. Soto was made a member of the British Empire in 1997. He passed away on March 17, 2015 at the age of 88. He is survived by his wife, Suzy, and their children and grandchildren. There is not a doubt that Soto’s legend will live on, not only on his beloved Cayman Islands, but the world over.

(International Legends of Diving would like to thank The Cayman Compass for contributions to this article.

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