Brittany Anne Novick from California has been crowned Miss Scuba International 2017, beating 15 other contestants for the title.

The 26-year-old rescue diver impressed judges at the grand finale event in Malaysia, also winning the subsidiary title of Miss Marine Conservation.

Novick, who has been diving for the past five years, will take on the ambassadorial role from the 2016 winner – Varsha Rajkhowan – proceeding to promote conservation and the dive industry internationally.

UK contestant Alexandra Talbot Prior, 25, landed the first runner-up spot; with Magda Jenthena, 23, from Latvia taking the second runner-up position.

Miss Scuba International 2017

The annual pageant was held for the first time in 2011 and encourages women to take part in marine conservation and diving.

According to the New Straits Times, Brittany Anne Novick said: “I’m absolutely shocked. This is an amazing opportunity and a great experience. I can’t wait to embark on this journey.

“I look forward to going back to my home country and inspire as many young women as possible to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics because they are worth it.”

Image © 2017 Miss Scuba International

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