ROCTOPUS 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.

Rachel -- Head Instructor

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!).

Niko -- Head Instructor

Niko is a self confessed adrenaline junkie originally from the land of Beer and Belgian Waffles. He traded it all in almost six years ago when he decided to become a diving professional after his 4th dive. After Niko experienced two huge Manta Rays circle the decent line he was on whilst diving in the Similan islands on Thailand’s West Coast blew his mind and he signed up for his Advanced Course the next day.

Niko moved to Koh Tao, lived in various tiny wooden shacks, eating mostly chicken & rice. He found the island to be that perfect balance between lifestyle and diving.

Niko found the Roctopus culture, friendly and fun and decided to do his Instructor crossover course to be able to teach SSI, and has been an instructor here at Roctopus ever since!

Matt -- Head Instructor

Matt has been diving since 1991, and became a professional in 1998.

Always fascinated by the UW world, Matt spent most of his life teaching others to enjoy the oceans and the amazing life found around coral reefs.

He has worked several shops on Koh Tao, and Roctopus for last 3 years. He loves the laid back but fun and professional attitude and atmosphere at Roctopus. The culture is all about making diving fun, interesting and safe for new divers.

When he is not diving he likes to relax on Koh Tao’s many beautiful beaches. On occasion he also DJ’s at some of Roctopus’s epic parties.

Phil -- Head Instructor

Phil was born and raised on the island of Guernsey, travelled after 5 years of working in banking. He Travelled around the world for 11 months. In that time did his Open Water course on Koh Tao, followed by Advanced Adventurer. Phil continued to dive on the Great Barrier Reef and in New Zealand, and then decided after that for a career change, he returned to Koh Tao roughly a year later where he completed his Divemaster Trainging and managed a get at job at Roctopus as a Divemaster, after a year of that he became an Instructor and moved on up to one of the Head Instructors.

Phil loves the close family feel, we literally have mums, dads and weird uncles.

Small groups for easy teaching offering a top quality experience where everything runs like clockwork.

Island life is all he knows and he believes Koh Tao to be one of the best Islands in the world.

Phi loves diving Sidemount all the way, it is by far his personal favourite set up to dive with.

One of his favourite dive locations off of Koh Tao is Green Rock, it has a bit of everthing; pinnacle, wall dive, deep, drift, swims throughs, lots of fun.

It is a known fact that Phil is a ‘seasoned video game enthusiast’.

John -- Head Instructor

John’s love of diving started on a 10 day break in Egypt. After returning back to the UK, a life of construction work just didn’t cut it anymore. Within 6 months of getting home John had sold all of his personal belongings to fund a 3 month Divemaster program in Cozumel, Mexico. The thought of going back to a life without diving was just too much to bear, so after the planned 3 months he extended his stay to continue to Instructor level. One thing led to another and nearly 5 years later John still hasn’t quite made it back to the UK yet. His travels have taken him around the Carribean from the Cayman Islands to Honduras before arriving on Koh Tao in September 2015. After jumping from shop to shop for a little, John has now settled in at Roctopus where his cheeky demeanour and infectious passion for diving will have you addicted to the sub culture in no time.

Steve -- Pro Instructor

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 -- Pro Instructor

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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Michael - Head Divemaster

Born and raised in Africa Michael got into diving at the tender age of 10 and completed his open water course in the cool waters off the coast of South Africa.

Michael spent his next 15 years trying to dive at every opportunity that arose and finally after finishing his university studies he had the opportunity to travel the world. Michael decided to do his Dive Master course and after scouring the internet he stumbled upon Koh Tao and decided he had to do his course here.

After a conversation with a friend of his who had done the exact same thing he found out there was no better place than Roctopus. One minute in the shop after he arrived he understood why Roctopus was so great, every person in the shop was so incredibly helpful and you can definitely feel the love and family vibe between the staff.

Michael has fallen in love with the island completely since he’s been here and really appreciates all the different places that it has to offer from the night time party spots, beautiful hikes to quiet restaurants a short drive away on the other side of island. The diving is some of the best he has ever done and his favourite dive site is Sail Rock. The amount of life is just incredible and it always a great opportunity for him to see his favourite fish, the barracuda. A ferocious looking fish which is so majestic and relaxed underwater.

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MANAGEMENT TEAM

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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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.

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…..

Westy - Manager

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.

Wes - Snorkel Boat Captain

Meet captain Wes! A former British firefighter, Wes first came to Koh Tao way back in 2011 and completed his open water dive course, whilst on a sabbatical from the service. He carried on travelling S.E.A but the beauty of Koh Tao and the diving kept drawing him back. After completing his instructor course wes decided after 15 years of killing fires and saving lives it was time to swap the raging infernos for the deep blue waters of Koh Tao. Captain Wes is the manager of the Roctopus speedboat and runs our snorkeling trips and private charters! When he’s not under the water or operating the speedboat you will normally find him at BND Beach Bar, pool que in hand and a bag of swag in the other, killing it at killer pool, after all every captains gotta have his treasure

Rachael - Email Bookings

Originally from the UK, just outside of London, Rachael left her busy job in the Emergency Department to travel SE Asia and Australia for 8 months. She arrived to Koh Tao mid-travels to do her 4-day Open Water Course and instantly fell in love with the diving and everything about the island. She has called it home ever since! Rachael started working for Roctopus in 2015 on the beach as a Paddle Board girl before moving into the office onto the Reception and since 2017 has been our Bookings Manager. Rachael loves nothing better than relaxing with friends, is an avid chef and loves a good hike and snorkel around our beautiful paradise island!