The Fling crew and family are here to make your trip one to remember. We have full time crew members and we also have many volunteers who work as divemaster, galley and tankfillers. They are all here to help you with any of your diving questions and to make your trip a safe one.

Captain Bland Ellen grew up in central Texas and spent 27 years in Emergency Services, where he served as a Firefighter, Fire Chief, Peace Officer, EMT, Arson Investigator, Bomb Technician, and Emergency Management Coordinator. He spent his spare timeboating, diving, and teaching scuba. In 1999 he took his first trip to the Flower Gardens, and was hooked. He couldn't believe that there was such a great place to dive in the Gulf of Mexico, and kept going back several times each year. In 2003, Bland came to work at Fling Charters as a relief Captain. In 2005 he retired from the Fire Service and now spends as much time as he can on the Fling. When asked why he enjoys his job so much he says, "I get to dive AND drive the boat. Doesn't get any better than that!"
Captain Ken Bush grew up in Laurel, Mississippi farming, teaching, and finally working as a school principal (now you see where he gets it from!) Capt. Ken was certified to dive sometime in the 70's (we really don't know when), became a Texas transplant in the early 80's, and became one of the loyal volunteers working on the M/V Fling in 1988. Ken gave up the school business for the dive business in 1992, working and teaching for local dive shop until 1996. He's been a full-time employee of the Fling ever since, first divemaster and then Captain (congrats Cap!) for the 2001 season. Captain Ken looks forward to seeing you aboard the M/V Fling.

Sharon Cain started her career as a school secretary in elementary education, so her transition to our merry band was easy! She joined the Rinn Boats team in June 2000, working in the office doing the bookkeeping and answering the phones. Sharon is also in charge of provisioning the boats for each dive trip, so if you have a special diet just let her know.

Sharon grew up in Galena Park, riding horses and rodeoing, but turned in her spurs for fins in 1992. She has her advanced/rescue certification, but we can’t convince her to become a DiveMaster—looks too much like work! Sharon is also the travel agent for Bush Divers/Bush Travel, since Ken Bush is too busy driving the boat. You can find Sharon on the dock before every trip with her trusty companion Bear-the-wonder-dog.

Besides The Flower Gardens, Sharon’s favorite dive location is Manta Island in Belize.


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