The Bert and Ann Shearer Foundation began after the passing of Bert and Ann, parents of Ed Shearer. The foundation contributes to various charities. Currently, the scholarship foundation’s board of directors has chosen the Dive Pirates Foundation to receive an annual donation.


Indeed, the purpose of the foundation is to provide a deserving U.S. Veteran past recipient certified by the Dive Pirates Foundation the financial means for air travel, resort, and diving during the Dive Pirates Foundation annual trip to Cayman Brac Beach Resort or other Dive Pirate Foundation destination. This is intended for those Veterans who have been diving before but are financially unable to afford to continue to dive. The hope is to fund two or three adaptive divers each year. This depends on their buddies’ ability to pay or the volunteers’ availability to fill the adaptive dive teams.

Eligibility Requirements:

The ideal candidate for consideration will reflect the following: 

  • Have completed an initial sponsored trip with DPF.
  • Can demonstrate that paying for a dive trip is not feasible (due to family obligations, job situation, etc. please explain in the hardship statement below).
  • Available to attend DPF scheduled trip to Cayman Brac Beach Resort or other DPF destination in 2024.
  • Willing to record a message of acceptance for  Dive Pirates prior to the Dive Pirates Ball on Feb 17, 2024.

Application Process:

  • Recommendation letter from an instructor, Dive Pirates member, or from someone in the diving community.
  • Upload a current photo.
  • Complete a medical statement form download (Print, have completed by an M.D. or D.O. and return).
  • Provide a financial hardship statement.
  • Provide applicable personal health insurance for the recipient and buddy.

Applications will not be considered unless all elements of the application are included. All elements of the application must be provided by the close of business on Dec 31, 2023. All applicants will be notified of the results by Jan 15, 2024. The scholarship winner will be included in the 2024 Dive Pirates Ball program and announced during the event.

Applications will be reviewed by board members and vetted accordingly. 


The recipient/buddy is responsible for five things:

  1. Acquiring a current passport. If the passport is out of date at the time of scholarship acceptance (Jan 15), the recipient must file and receive his/her passport before airfare is secured (must have a passport before Mar 1, 2024.) If the recipient fails this requirement, the next viable candidate will be chosen.
  2. Completing refresher courses as needed.
  3. Providing proof of Dive Insurance.
  4. Having their scuba equipment inspected. If any equipment needs servicing or replacing the recipient must contact Dive Pirate Foundation by March 1, 2024, and accept any donated equipment options available. (Replacement equipment will be on a case-by-case basis)
  5. To understand he/she cannot reapply for this scholarship for the next two years.

Should you have any inquiries on the Bert and Ann Shearer Foundation, please do not hesitate to contact us at scholarship@divepirates.org