Tuesday, January 9, 2007
STEVE LEWIS: Nova Scotia, Canada: Maine, USA. Project Team Leader. Steve is an experienced Technical Instructor Trainer with more than a decade of experience teaching technical diving, and with several thousand logged dives to his credit. His special expertise is in overhead and mixed gas diving and he was a member of the Training Advisory Panel for International Training - the governing organization for SDI, TDI and ERDI - and currently is a staff instructor-trainer and Director of Product Development for that agency. Steve has written several textbooks and training standards for both SDI and TDI and is a popular speaker at dive shows across North America. He has led explorations and survey teams in deep, cold water dives on several occasions.
RICK STANLEY: Newfoundland, Canada. Project Senior Executive. The President and Owner of Ocean Quest, Rick has a background in the Home Renovations Industry and learned to dive in the early 1990s as a recreational pastime. His passion for the sport rapidly grew and he soon realized the potential for diving tourism in Newfoundland & Labrador. Founding Ocean Quest in 1997, his commitment to the sport and preservation of underwater heritage is widely acknowledged and in addition to receiving numerous tourism awards and UNESCO recognition, he was appointed as advisor to Parks Canada on the subject of SCUBA Diving. A diving instructor, he is also an avid technical and cave diver and accomplished underwater photographer.
STEPHEN PHILLIPS: Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. Diving Team Chief of Logistics. Stephen Phillips is an active Instructor-Trainer for TDI and Regional Manager for SDI/TDI United Kingdom. He specializes in Rebreather training up to mixed gas level on various units and has conducted dives to many deep wrecks off the Donegal coast including Audacious, Empire Heritage and Justicia. His passion for U-Boats has seen him on various trips with submarine hunter Innes McCartney. Stephen is also full cave certified and has logged dives in many of the cave systems in Southern France. He will be a valuable member of the team and will be deep support and chief of logistics on rebreather and OC pushes.
DAVID SAWATSKY, MD: Nova Scotia, Canada. Project Physician. David is a Diving Medical Specialist who was on contract at Defence Research and Development Toronto (formerly DCIEM) from 1998 to 2005. Previously he was the Canadian Forces Staff Officer in Hyperbaric Medicine at DCIEM (1986-1993) and later the Senior Medical Officer at Garrison Support Unit Toronto (1993-1998). He has written a monthly column on diving medicine in Diver Magazine since 1993, is on the Board of Advisors for the International Association of Nitrox and Technical Divers (IANTD) and is an active cave, trimix and closed circuit rebreather diver, instructor and instructor trainer. David has completed over 500 cave dives and most of these dives were original exploration and surveying dives.
DEBBIE STANLEY: Newfoundland, Canada. Survey Team & Photographer. Co-Owner of Ocean Quest, Debbie learned to dive with husband Rick as a recreational pastime and is an ardent wreck and cave diver. Debbie’s accomplishments as an underwater photographer have gained her much acclaim and she is recognized as an extremely skilled technical diver.
PHIL SHORT: (Our own personal global legend) United Kingdom. Project Creative Consultant. The founder of Phil Short Technical, Phil is one of the UK’s foremost IANTD Instructor Trainers and is a PADI Master Instructor with over 5000 dives to his credit. A participant in numerous expeditions worldwide, he has been involved in many major TV productions and is the leader of a continuing cave exploration project in the Ural Mountains, Russia.
AARON BRUCE: Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Support Team Leader. A former Royal Navy Mine Clearance Diver, Aaron has been in Egypt since 1997 is the Technical Director at Emperor Divers. He is one of the most highly qualified TDI Instructor Trainers in Egypt and his credentials include TDI Inspiration/Evolution Mixed Gas Instructor Trainer, TDI Drager Dolphin Instructor Trainer, TDI Advanced Gas Blender Instructor Trainer, TDI Kiss Advanced Mixed Gas Instructor Trainer PSA Instructor Trainer.
RALPH HOSKINS: Nova Scotia, Canada. Assistant Project Surveyor. Ralph is a technician at the nuclear power plant in Pickering, Ontario. He has been a very active diving instructor, technical and cave diver for 20 years, with several hundred cave dives to his credit. Many of these dives were original exploration and surveying dives in the very challenging cold water caves of Canada. For the past several years he has been David Sawatzky’s main diving partner on dives all over the world. Ralph is originally from Newfoundland and has family who worked in the Bell Island iron ore mines.
MIKE FOWLER: Ontario Canada. Project Safety Officer. The co-owner and founder of Silent Diving Systems, LLC (SDS). Mike has been diving the Inspiration since it was first introduced in the market in 1997. He has worked in all phases of production in the factory in England. He is the primary person for maintenance service and repair of the units. Originally starting as a British Sub Aqua Club diver, then instructor through PADI & IANTD, Mike founded IANTD in South Africa and is an IANTD Instructor Trainer for the Inspiration, Cave, & Trimix both OC & CCR. He is an avid Cave & Tri-mix diver on the Inspiration and is very excited about how the Inspiration Rebreather impacts those types of diving. Mike has over 800 logged hours on the Inspiration Rebreather as well as over 1000 dives on OC and other Rebreather. He conducted the first Inspiration training class in North America; his students included Tom and Patty Mount. Eventually Mike returned to England to work for Ambient Pressure Diving. Then relocated to Brockville, Canada to manage Silent Diving Systems distribution and service center. He loves dive instruction and is an avid diver.
VLADA DEKINA: Ontario, Canada. Project Photographer #1. Born in the city of Khabarovsk in the Far East of Russia, Vlada has called Toronto home for the last ten years. Living within hours of all the Great Lakes, Vlada is an active wreck diver and accomplished underwater photographer with a keen interest in the maritime past of the Great Lakes region and histories of wrecks she visits. When not diving in the Great Lakes, Vlada can be found photographing wrecks and reefs of the Truk Lagoon, Red Sea, Florida and Carribean or the caves of Yucatan.
JOE STEFFEN: Ohio, USA. Team Logistics. Joe is an experienced technical diver with more than 130 logged cave dives, including 35 DPV cave dives. His dives in deep caves include Eagle's Nest and Diepolder, and he has several deep cold-water wreck dives including Gunilda and Judge Hart. A career police officer and veteran, Joe’s organizational skills and natural leadership have made him a welcome member of dive expeditions in each of the Great Lakes and Eastern North America including two trips to the Bell Island wrecks.
DAVE CLEMMENS: Ontario, Canada. Project Communications. Born and raised in the city of Toronto, Dave is currently working for IBM Canada as a System Analyst. Living within hours of all the Great Lakes, Dave is an active wreck diver looking forward to reaching some of the deeper wrecks via his newest toy, the Prism Topaz eCCR. First certified as a NAUI open water diver in 1973, Dave moved up to the upper levels of diving and became a PADI Dive Master. Furthering his education in diving he became Mixed Gas certified 2004 as well as Cave certified in 2005. Dave not only enjoys the challenging deeper dives but is very much at home in shallow water just swimming and enjoying the environment. As like some of the expedition members, Dave has also visited and enjoyed the Bell Island wrecks 2 years in a row.
Permanent Support Team:
STEVE MOORE: Newfoundland, Canada. Project Manager. A TDI/SDI Instructor originating in the United Kingdom, Steve retired from the Royal Air Force after 25 years to pursue a new career in the diving industry. He learned to dive with the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) whilst based with the RAF in Ascension Island, South Atlantic Ocean and after getting the 'diving bug’, organized several military diving expeditions on both sides of the Atlantic. Newfoundland became his favourite diving destination and he now lives there with his family and works with Ocean Quest as the Program & Expeditions Manager.
DAVID POWELL: Ontario, Canada. Project Operations Manager. A retired Royal Air Force Engineering Officer, diving since 1983 and now living in Canada, David has experience of a wide range of environments. A BSAC First Class Diver & Advanced Instructor and TDI/SDI Instructor, he spent 15 years as a British Forces Sub-Aqua Diving Supervisor and organised or participated in numerous military expeditions including: Ascension Island, Cyprus, Spain, Orkney, Gibraltar, Canada, and the Falkland Islands. Extensive experience organising and leading military expeditions and dives utilising divers working on projects. Additional qualifications: Draeger Dolphin SCCR, BSAC Rescue Specialist, PADI EFR, O2 Instructor, regulator technician.
SUSAN COPP: Newfoundland, Canada. Project Administration. An extremely active SDI Instructor, Sue left a fulltime occupation as a College Instructor in Natural Resource Management and found a new career in SCUBA Diving. In her relatively short time as a diver, she has gained numerous instructional certifications in diving specialties and has completed over 300 recreational and technical dives in her favourite diving destination, Newfoundland, during the last year alone. A member of The Royal Newfoundland Regiment (Reserve) for over 20 years, Sue is also the Training Administration Assistant at Ocean Quest.
MARK McGOWAN: Newfoundland, Canada. Project Record Keeper. A career police officer as well as an instructor for PADI and TDI.