About

About the Dolphin Rodeo

The Dolphin Rodeo began in 2008 in honor of Nick Sheahan. Nick died in 2004 tragically of shallow water black out in a diving accident in the Bahamas. He enjoyed fishing, diving and life in the Fabulous Florida Keys. He would have graduated from Coral Shores Senior High in 2006.

Tavernier Creek Marina wanted to bring back their past Dolphin Tournament, so we had the opportunity to bring it back as “The Nick Sheahan Dolphin Rodeo.” We are also able to use the tournament to promote the dangers of “Shallow Water Blackout” and how to save someone in the situation.

The Dolphin Rodeo happens the first weekend in May opening up the dolphin fishing season. The community comes together in support of the event. All the proceeds benefit scholarships for graduating seniors of Coral Shores High School.

The kick-off party/captains meeting offers great food by local restaurants as well as beverages and live local entertainment. There is a silent auction with items donated by many local businesses such as artwork, jewelry, gift certificates and more as well a a 50/50 raffle. The event is also preceded by a bike raffle, which is donated to us by Key Largo Bike & Adventures. Raffles and give aways for registered anglers also make for a fun evening as well. The actual tournament is a two day event with weigh in and awards ceremony. Cash prizes and trophies for Adults for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Juniors anglers receive trophies for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. We also offer prizes for largest wahoo & tuna. The awards event also offers food, beverages.

In order to qualify for the Nick Sheahan Scholarship, students complete an application acquired through the CAPS counselor at Coral Shores High School (please refer to their link). The board and founders then meet to determine the recipients of the scholarship. Usually 5-6 students are chosen after all applications are reviewed.

Giving back to the community and especially offering opportunities to his peers would have been the way Nick would have wanted to be remembered. This tournament is a wonderful way to keep his memory alive and bring people together to celebrate the life he loved so much.

Back to the top

About Nick Sheahan

Nick Sheahan passed away in July 2004 at the age of 16. He died in a diving accident in the Bahamas. Nick touched so many people and was very special to many of us. We wanted to keep his memory alive and started the scholarship fund. Nick would have graduated in 2006 so we did several fundraisers raising money. We gave away $8000 in 2006 to four of his closest friends. They all went to college or trade school. Many of Nick's friends come to our tournament every year to either help out or fish the tournament.

In 2008 we had the opportunity to take over a fishing tournament that was once a big tournament at Tavernier Creek Marina. We named it the “Nick Sheahan Dolphin Rodeo”. The Nick Sheahan Annual Fishing tournament is now part of the Florida Keys Tourist and Development Council of the Florida Keys. The Nick Sheahan Dolphin Rodeo raises money to give back to the community. The money is raised to give students scholarships to help them get started in college. Since 2006, numerous students have been awarded this scholarship, and it has helped them out tremendously. The Nick Sheahan Dolphin Rodeo will always be around to help the graduating kids of the community, and the Sheahan name will always be known forever.

In 2014 a 10 year memorial was held for Nick Sheahan. It was held at Casa Mar on the creekside. We had food, music, games, kayaking. it was a beautiful day and a great time. A lot of Nick's friends came home for this event and the support of the community was overwhelming. A video was created by Mike Govea and can be viewed on the website.

Back to the top

Your donation will benefit the Nick Sheahan Scholarship Fund for graduating seniors at Coral Shores High School.

You can donate via PayPal by clicking below:

Or you can mail a check to us at:

The Nick Sheahan Scholarship Fund
216 Pearl Ave
Tavernier, FL 33070

Back to the top

Shallow-Water Blackouts

Shallow-water Blackouts Are Preventable

Latest research important to all snorkelers & divers:

Shallow-water blackouts are all too common, especially when combined with vigorous exertion in the water and some mistakes in prepping for free dives.

Important

Here are ways to avoid shallow-water blackout:

Always dive with a buddy!

Do not hyperventilate to excess, no more than three or four breaths.

Recognize that any strenuous exercise will limit your bottom time drastically; when you exercise, head for the surface much sooner than usual.

Recognize a dangerous situation when your mind starts to focus on a goal, and drop your weight belt.

Treat your weight belt as a disposable item: if in doubt, drop it. Bring a spare weight belt to decrease your hesitancy.

Adjust your weight belt so that you will float at 15 feet.

Avoid endurance dives. If you must make a long or deep dive, make sure you have a buddy standing by on the surface.

Consider a swimming pool a dangerous place to practice endurance breath-holding, always have an observer standing by to assist.

Learn the basics of CPR and think about adapting them to your diving arena, whether diving from shore, board or boat.

Back to the top

Scholarship Recipients
2020

Total $10,000 ($2000 each)

  • Isabella Bolivar
  • Jason Filpes
  • Windley Hagood
  • Roy Lindback II
  • Emma Lovell
2019

Total $42,000 ($2000 each)

  • Alexandra Ancheta
  • Billy Butler
  • Avery Caceres
  • Dallas Christmas
  • Nick Dimaggio
  • Cara Erickson
  • Stephen Frinks
  • Atlantis Hofstetter
  • Christian Ignacio
  • Leila Marie Isador
  • Skylnn Lindback
  • Shannon McCormick
  • Rachel Medina
  • Isabella Olsen
  • Timothy Orr
  • Michael Petrusha II
  • Nicholas Pope
  • Laine Ramsey
  • Brayan Rojas
  • Sophie Williams
  • Cassandra Willis
2018

Total $24,000 ($2000 each)

  • Zane Absten
  • Josef Barski
  • Andrew Dula
  • Ryan Guth
  • Paige Joyce
  • Airiana Lindback
  • Conor O’Neil
  • Brooke Peacock
  • Kendra Powers
  • Leesa Ross
  • Kaily Seiler
  • Sean Sinnamon
2017

Total $34,000 ($2000 each)

  • James Britton
  • Audrey Butler
  • Cassie Casielenko
  • Keeley Catarineau
  • Javier Exposito
  • Thomas Brandon Finch
  • Paris Gasser
  • Holly Hodes
  • Molly Hunter
  • Robert Majeska
  • Lauren Rabe
  • Adam Reiss
  • Jack Rodberg
  • Jordan Schipper
  • Jacob Sowder
  • Christina Upchurch
  • Kaitlyn White
2016

Total $28,000 ($2000 each)

  • Sabrina Bang
  • Grant Fabel
  • Nicolas Frisone
  • Jacob Fulper
  • Jaime Gunther
  • Jacqueline Haddad
  • Savanna Hamilton
  • Melissa Humprey
  • Dante Jiovenetta
  • Seanna Lindback
  • Miles Miller
  • Emily Perotti
  • Nick Varney
  • David Williams
2015

Total $22,000 ($2000 each)

  • Dominic Cianciolo
  • Kyle Clarke
  • Amber Erickson
  • Robert Haswell
  • Rion Hunter
  • Isis Majeska
  • Raul Munos
  • Summer Noble
  • Joslyn Schipper
  • Gabriel Tyrell
  • Erica Williams
2014

Total $20,000

  • Storm Dixon
  • Christina Dugan
  • Aime Erickson
  • Zoe Koval
  • Charly Lollis
  • Shelby Lollis
  • Katie McCormick
  • Danica Navarette
  • Jacob Niebalski
  • Joseph Panse
  • Joely Vallez
2013

Total $16,000 ($2000 each)

  • Thomas Carter
  • Kellen Clark
  • Gabriela Diaz
  • Sarah Frances Harrelson
  • Julia Lozano
  • John Mulkeen
  • Kyle Joel Sol
  • Michael Vaughan
2012

Total $10,000 ($2000 each)

  • Taelor Cuppett
  • Michael Dann
  • Daniella DeLucia
  • Shanna Moorehouse
  • Hank Pindera
2011

Total $16,000 ($2000 each)

  • Nicholas Biondoletti
  • Eliza Colmes
  • Roxeanne Ekbloom
  • Ben Ignacio
  • Madelyn Ingegno
  • Brian Lindback Jr.
  • Nicholas Queen
  • Mary Ann Self
2010

Total $8000 ($2000 each)

  • Alexie Creary
  • Segar Dixon
  • Jeimy Glaze
  • Taylor Vallez
2009

Total $10,000 ($2000 each)

  • Ryan Bush
  • Megan Guenther
  • Alex Oliveros
  • Caitlyn Omeara
  • Jenna Regalman
2008

Total $12,000 ($2000 each)

  • Dwight Farr
  • Michael Loguercio
  • Ashlee Panse
  • Nicole Pravata
  • Jason Soares
  • Tessie Worden
2007

Total $5,000 ($1000 each)

  • Sean Denson
  • Megan Joyce
  • Henry Olivera
  • Anabelle Ornellas
  • Jenny Sorenson
2006

Total $8,000 ($2000 each)

  • Becky Dunlap
  • Mike Govea
  • Becky Jaworski
  • Brandon Panse