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. 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. A light bite will be provided for the awards giveaway.

In order to qualify for the Nick Sheahan Scholarship, students complete an application acquired through the CAPS counselor at Coral Shores High School. The board and founders then meet to determine the recipients of the scholarship..

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.

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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.

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

You can donate by mailing a check to us at:

The Nick Sheahan Scholarship Fund
230 Azalea St
Tavernier, FL 33070

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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.


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.

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Scholarship Recipients

Awarded $408,000 in Scholarships!


Total $48,000 ($3000 each)

  • Angelina Bello
  • Pedro Betancourt
  • Landon Blackford
  • Craig Campbell
  • Kaitlyn Dickerson
  • Brooke Elkoury
  • Daniela Fermin
  • Jayden Ferrell
  • Ila Gorman
  • Cayson Johnson
  • Edy Kemmer
  • Guadalupe Martinez
  • Mataram Mayer
  • Mathew Patterson
  • Adian Pegues
  • Keagan Whitkey

Total $45,000 ($3000 each)

  • George Alvarez
  • Encino Barrios
  • Vincent Biondoletti
  • Joey Caputo
  • Kinsley Catarineau
  • Stella Court
  • Coral De Pauw
  • Diana Diaz
  • Laira Gomer
  • Barrett Hefner
  • MacKenzie Hupka
  • Joshua Jones
  • Emily Kafie
  • Makenna Woolet-Stockton
  • Mariana Yanez

Total $40,000 ($2500 each)

  • Michael Anchetta
  • Callie Bloom
  • Noah Butler
  • Lorena Carballo
  • Dominic DiMaggio
  • Riley Dobson
  • Yoendry Ferro
  • Alex Guiterrez
  • Katie Holly
  • Elaina Holtan
  • Emma Kost
  • Alexis Martin
  • Nathaniel Pontefract
  • Julie Powers
  • Abigail Sebben
  • Brandon Turner

Total $20,000 ($2000 each)

  • Raffie Baker
  • Isabella Bolivar
  • Jason Filpes
  • Nola Frank
  • Karla Gonzalez
  • Windley Hagood
  • Roy Lindback II
  • Emma Lovell
  • Brandon Mathews
  • Bridget Rader

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total $16,000 ($2000 each)

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

Total $10,000 ($2000 each)

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

Total $16,000 ($2000 each)

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

Total $8000 ($2000 each)

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

Total $10,000 ($2000 each)

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

Total $12,000 ($2000 each)

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

Total $5,000 ($1000 each)

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

Total $8,000 ($2000 each)

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