DIVE TEAM

The Roctopus Dive team is a young, friendly and energetic collection of dive instructors from throughout the world. Handpicked because of their passion for the underwater world and first class knowledge and experience teaching people how to dive.

Tyrone

Tyrone (Ty) is an Australian born waterman. He grew up on the beaches of Sydney and experienced diving at a premier dive school back when he was just 13.

From an early age Ty found a love for the underwater world and he never wanted to do anything other share this love. His diving career started in Sydney where he gained valuable knowledge and has been spending His time in Asia for the last few years fine tuning his skills, this is a dive instructor that balances dive life with a healthy social life. Easy going, patient and approachable… Diving is his passion, fun is his life.Ty2

Qualifications:
  • SSI Advanced Open Water Instructor
  • First Aid Instructor
  • Tec 50
Alex

Our Butterflyfish loving Brit Alex has been living here on Koh Tao for over nine months, and happily for us, is still loving every minute!

Alex learnt to dive when he was backpacking in Australia. During his internship, Alex did some awesome things – and he says that one of his highlights was the opportunity to guide certified divers around the Great Barrier Reef, and world-renowned shipwreck SS Yongala.

Europe called, however, Alex didn’t abandon diving as he went on to complete my ITC in Ios, Greece before moving here to Koh Tao in December.

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Anna

Anna grew up by the seaside after her parents left her there one summer. Unfazed, this Swedish beauty spent her early years, living on a boat and sailing the chilly Scandinavian waters. She grew up with salt in her hair and knew the water would look after her in years to come. Anna’s first experience with scuba diving came at the tender age of 12 right here on Koh Tao . Needless to say, she liked it!

Having finished school, Anna spent years living in the remote outback of both Sweden and Norway, hunting bears and moose and living off the land much like a scandinavian Mick Dundee. However Koh Tao & its’s crystal waters were never far from her mind!! In 2011 Anna packed her bags & flew back to Thailand….after hearing it was too far to swim.

SSI Speciality Instructor Anna loves nothing more than exciting customers with tales of the sea and how she rescued a wolf from almost certain death at the hands of a sabre tooth cat. She is a natural in the water and her passion for marine life is evident. Anna truly believes in the words of Confucius “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”.

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Rachel V

Our pint-sized Scuba Ninja Rachel joined us as a Dive Master and quickly smashed her way to becoming a Dive Instructor. Quietly spoken, Rachel doesn’t suffer fools and despite her small stature — she’s not to be crossed!

That being said, she is one of the most intelligent, patient and kind people you’ll ever meet and learning to dive with her is a joy. She is passionate, friendly and lives the mantra ‘Fish are friends, not food’ (she’s a passionate Vegetarian!).

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Rachel B

Rachel is one of a significantly large proportion of Rachel’s at Roctopus Dive and is therefore typically known as just Belton. For obvious reasons.

Rachel learned to dive while at uni and completed her open water dives in a quarry. Despite only seeing one fish in 4 dives, she was hooked. But soon a conventional career in retail came calling.
Luckily for us, she came to Koh Tao to meet a friend, the legend that is Roctopus Dive’s Head Dive Master Gary Williams, who persuaded her to complete her Dive Master training. She worked hard on her initially awful navigation skills and soon became one of our busiest Dive Masters.

Not content with that, she pushed on to train as a Dive Instructor with us. Since that time, she has been enthralling students with her witty banter, multi-coloured hair (don’t ask about the time she decided to dye it blonde while in Thailand), and questionable dance moves. Just don’t challenge her to dance off……

Steve

Stephen began his professional diving career in Queensland, Australia. After 2 years he moved to Koh Tao in 1999. In September 2000 Stephen became a dive instructor. Since 2000, he has certified over 1500 divers from beginners to dive professionals. He is now at a dive instructor status of SSI Dive Control Specialist, Respond Right instructor trainer, and PADI Master Instructor / Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer.

Outside Teaching diving, Stephen maintains an interest in dive medicine. He trained as a Dive Medical Technician at the Diving Diseases Research Centre in Plymouth (UK) and has been working with the SSS Recompression Network & Badelveda recompression chamber since 2003.

Stephen is the main man on the Island for Dive related injuries covering all 56 dive schools on the Koh Tao. Now at Roctopus, Stephen is directly in charge and runs the professional courses including: SSI Divemaster course, SSI Dive Control Specialist course & SSI Instructor courses / crossovers.

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Qualifications:
  • Recreational Dive Medical Technician instructor
  • Assistant Life Support Technician & Basic Hyperbaric Medicine (IMCA)
  • Dive Medical Technician
  • PADI Master Instructor & EFRI Trainer
  • SSI Instructor Trainer
  • Dan Instructor Trainer in all DAN courses
Pete

Pete is the Manager and an Instructor Trainer at Roctopus Pro. He learned to dive in the cold waters of his home town of Boston, Massachusetts. Even though he saw nothing but a single lobster on his open water course, he fell in love with the sport of diving and decided to make a career of it.

Pete has a graduate degree in statistics from Harvard University and previously used his talents to create custom financial software that billionaires used to manage their money. In 2012 he decided he wanted a change of lifestyle and took up becoming a dive professional. He now pours that same drive and ambition into his passion for diving.

He was previously a manager and head instructor of another dive school on Koh Tao before taking over as the manager and IT of Roctopus Pro in March of 2015. He has certified over 500 divers and instructors.

He also developed his own software to manage dive shops, which is currently being used around the island of Koh Tao. When not diving look for him on stage playing bass with the Koh Tao Pub Crawl cover band.

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Emma

Emma is one of the most interesting people you’ll ever meet. Known to all her friends as a persistent workaholic, Emma is in a beautiful life partnership with the Ocean. She has found her dream job, and she excels.

An experienced Dive Instructor and active marine conservationist, she often boasts that the most fun she has ever had was at 27m, scraping the paint off our beautiful wreck the HTMS Sattakut.

This Scottish lass has travelled the world diving. Let her inspire your next adventure with stories of the Great Barrier Reef, going primitive in the Torres Straits, diving with giant Manta Rays, exploring the wrecks of Malta, and her close encounters in shark infested waters in the Bahamas.

When not underwater Emma will be seen wearing her cowboy hat, being artsy and running around organising everything she can get her hands on.

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MANAGEMENT TEAM

Jay - Co-Owner/General Manager

Jay was Head Instructor when Roctopus Dive first opened its doors to the public in 2011. As the shop grew Jays knack for business and love for customer service has seen him take on a more managerial role. Now Jay and the management team are directly involved with the dive operation, ensuring the smooth running and comfort of our divers. Jay will be there to greet you when you walk through the front door and there to give you a high 5 as you leave! Jay has previously worked for a major dive operation on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia and has been involved with dive operations in both Borneo and the Philippines.

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Minty - Operations Manager

The man who convulses underwater when he laughs. Need we say more? Probably not, but we will anyway.

Minty is a UK born, former banker who quit his job to travel the world, and travel it he did. An experienced Dive Instructor, since joining Roctopus Dive he’s made quite the impression on his students. This Trip Advisor Review is legendary…..

 

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Dave – Co-Founder/Co-Owner/Branding

After coming to Koh Tao in 2005, Dave fell in love with the island. He tried to leave, and dived in many locations around the world only to find himself drawn back to Koh Tao. With over 3000 dives on the island and a extensive marine life knowledge he made the Koh Tao Dive Guide, a book that is now used by most dive professionals on the island. He has a passion for teaching and also takes an active role in conservation projects as a member of ‘Save Koh Tao’. Dave is one of the original founders of Roctopus Dive and is now responsible for all things Roctopus (Branding and Advertising). His other achievements include snorkelling around Koh Tao (taking 14 hours) and surviving a coconut falling on his head.

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Chriso – Roctopus Pro Director

Chris Haslam’s passion and dedication to the undersea world has taken him from his home in Australia to some of the most amazing diving destinations on the planet among them; Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Mexico, Honduras, Malta, England, Portugal, Egypt and Sweden where he’s worked as a diving supervisor, instructor trainer, instructor, lecturer and guide.

Chris was certified as an SSI Instructor Trainer when he was 27 and has certified over 1500 students at various levels both technical and recreational, including teaching the first SSI Instructor Course in Vietnam. He is also a PADI Staff instructor, RAID instructor and TDI/SDI instructor and teaches advanced trimix/decompression diving in both back-mount and sidemount styles. Chris is an Instructor Trainer for Respond Right First Aid Courses, and has co-taught various marine biology programs to entry-level university students in Belize and Bahamas based on his strong interest in undersea life and conservation. He has also been involved with a number of worldwide marine conservation projects to help protect the environment that he so cherishes.

Chris has conducted dives to 180m in addition to sidemount dives to 135m. Chris loves to explore, whether it is cold or warm water, deep or shallow, mines, caves, wrecks or tropical reefs. In 2013, Chris participated in a heartfelt expedition to the WWII wreck of the US Coast Guard Cutter Alexander Hamilton, which was sunk by a VII Class German Submarine off the coast of Iceland, where he and fellow teammates placed a memorial plaque on the wreck in memory of the fallen sailors. This would not have been possible without the support by sponsor, Ocean Reef.

Chris has also co-written two distinctive technical specialty courses with PADI regional manager Jonas Samuelsson. Chris is also the founder of the World Dive Team (WDT), a company that focuses on producing quality divers and instructors around the globe, leading dive expeditions, creating environmental awareness and exploring the world’s seas.

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Yvonne – Number Cruncher Extraordinaire

After living the majority of her life on Koh Tao, Yvonne is our number cruncher. She is a key cog in the Roctopus operation and spends most of her time in the back office. If you are lucky enough to get to see her, say hello, she doesn’t bite!

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Westy – Special Projects

Westy  is our token ‘Kiwi’ and also our Operations Manager. He has been working in the industry in Australia for over a decade. He has been instructing for about six of those. During his years in the industry he has worked and operated various dive companies, from small day operations and over night tours, to the large leading dive companies in Australia. After Westy became an instructor he worked as a Trip Director for the biggest live-a-board vessel on the Great Barrier Reef. He also managed a whale shark interaction operation for two years in Western Australia. Westy has many certifications under his belt and brings a lot of outside experience to Roctopus. Westy strives to run Roctopus to the best of his ability and to satisfy each and every customer, with the help of the awesome Roctopus Team.

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