Guest Speakers at The Great Northern Dive Show 2017

The Great Northern Dive Show 2017 will feature a wide variety of guest speakers from all areas of scuba diving.


Mark Powell

Mark had his first experience of diving at the age of 10 when he did a try-dive in a local pool. He was hooked from that point onwards. He learnt to dive in 1987 and has been diving ever since. He has dived in the Red Sea, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, California, Gulf of Mexico, the Middle East, Caribbean and the Mediterranean. However he is most at home in the waters around the UK where there is some of the best wreck diving in the world.

Mark became an instructor in 1994 and has been actively instructing since then. In 2002 Mark set up Dive-Tech, a dedicated technical diving facility, with the intention of providing the highest quality technical diving training. He has been a full time diving instructor since then. Dive-Tech provides technical training at all levels up to and including CCR Advanced Mixed Gas Instructor Trainer. It also provides consultancy services to other diving organisations.

Mark is a TDI Instructor Trainer and a member of TDI’s Global Training Advisor Panel. He is a regular contributor to a number of diving magazines and a regular speaker at Diving conferences around the world. Mark represents TDI on the British Diving Safety Group and the HSE Recreational Diving Industry Committee as well as being a member of the Diver Training and Breathing Apparatus committees at the British Standards Institute.

In 2008 Mark published Deco for Divers, a widely acclaimed overview of the theory and physiology of decompression. This has quickly become the standard text on the subject and is recommended reading by a number of the technical diving agencies. In 2010 Deco for divers was awarded “Publication of the Conference” at the EuroTEK.10 technical diving conference and in 2014 it won the Media Award at TekDive USA. Mark’s passion is wreck diving and spends all his spare time diving the wrecks around the coastline of the UK and abroad and has led expeditions to a wide range of locations around the world. He is currently involved in a number of projects including documenting the wreck of HMS Hermes, the worlds first custom aircraft carrier, as well as searching for the other wrecks that were sank at the same time as HMS Hermes. He is also involved in an ongoing project in Malta to identify a number of unknown Second World War wrecks.

John Kendall

John Kendall is a Recreational, Technical and Cave Instructor and an Instructor Trainer for Global Underwater Explorers (GUE). He has been diving for more than 20 years, and has taken part in many scientific and archaeological dive projects around the globe. Recently he has been involved in two cutting edge projects: The GUE Aeolian Islands project, documenting, 3D scanning and recovering of 2500 Year old artefacts from Roman era shipwrecks in 120m of water, and the GUE Mars project, investigating the wrecksite of Mars the Magnificent in Sweden, that sank in 1564 into 75m of 4deg water. He specialises in Scientific Photography and 3D Photogrammetry.



Chantelle Taylor-Newman

In South Africa Chantelle became the youngest female diver to be NAUI certified and qualified in 1985. She has brought together her passions for diving and medicine to increase diving safety awareness worldwide.  She founded the Diver Medic Facebook Group and the magazine ‘Diver Medic.’  She was the second only female to develop a Diver Medic Technician (DMT) Course accredited by IMCA for Commercial divers and DAN Europe for recreational divers, a course which Chantelle remains the only female able to teach.  She is on DAN Europe Training Committee, and is a regular speaker at the UK dive shows. Chantelle continues to work on projects related to Dive Safety and Education. She has Published the Diver Medic Magazine and was recently a feature in the Scuba Diving Magazine USA, August Issue 2016 under the heading Heroes of Diving. Once again the only female amongst 4 men. On the 2nd April 2016 Chantelle was made an honouree member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Another project that is close to her heart is her new Charity, AMTECS. Aquatic Medicine, Training, Education, Conservation Support. When Chantelle has time she travels around the world to teach her Diver Medic Courses and promotes Diving safety through AMTECS and The Diver Medic Facebook group. /

Caroline & Nick Robinson-Brown

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of Underwater Photographers, Photo-Journalists & Authors. Their Manchester based company, Frogfish Photography, offers commissions, tuition, equipment and advice. Their recent books, World’s Best Wildlife Dive Sites and Deadly Oceans have sold all over the world and they have another book on the way”

When they speak at The Great Northern Dive Show, they will just have returned from Socorro, and so should have loads of great new images to show you

Nick and Caroline

James Rogers

James Rogers

I started to dive 27 years ago, joining the largest training agency and becoming a rebreather diver in 1993, and an Instructor in 1997. In 2006 I became – Director, Sales and Field Services and witnessed the transition of sports diving from a hobby to a profession, observing the growth of the UK industry hitting heights never seen before or again. In 2011 I designed and implemented The Business Diving in the UK with full University accreditation. In 2012 I was made redundant and considered by future outside the sport, in 2014, I bought RAID UK and started my new life with as vision and energy of not following the same business approach anymore.

Rob Mackins

My background is in teaching and lecturing, having taught in colleges for 20 years. One of my specialist areas being first aid and emergency care courses. I began diving in 1999 in Spain and progressed to work in the dive centre where I learned to dive. I came back to the UK to do my instructor course in 2009 and opened up my own dive centre in the UK in 2010. I completed my RAID Instructor Trainer course in November 2016 and in addition to managing first aid for RAID UK & Malta I also work with RAID International developing first aid programs.
The Talk will be “Use of Haemostatic Dressings and Tourniquets to treat Catastrophic Bleeding in First Aid”

Rob Mackin

Tony Cooper

Tony Cooper

Since 1998, Tony has been involved in diving because of his passion of the underwater world and the feeling, freedom it gave him. Scuba diving has provided the opportunity to go explore the world not many people would get the chance to see. Tony still finds the time for exploring Caves, Mines and Wrecks worldwide.
In 2001, Tony decided he wanted to share this experience and make diving a career.
Became a PADI instructor 2000
Worked for TDA (The Diving Academy) Urmston (2000 – 2006)
Dive and Marine Services (2000 – 2006)
IDC Staff Instructor 2004 with 26 Specialties’
Technical Instructor 2010
Full Trimix Teaching to 100 meters
Cavern Instructor – Full Cave Diver.
2010, completed his side-mount and Tec Side-mount instructor rating. With this new passion was one of the first couple of instructors in the UK to Promote Side-mount and push it forward to how it is today,
Hollis made him a Ambassador in 2012 till 2015
Owner of two dive Schools Good 2B Wet (2007 – 20010)
Dive Side-Mounts & Tony Cooper Technical (2010 – Present)
Tony has been very passionate about diving and getting the most out of it. His aim is to give people the understanding of the freedom that technical diving in side-mount has to offer, as well as the increased safety.

Tony has worked in many counties around the world such as, Malta, Greece, Egypt, Philippines, Spain and the Canary Islands. Jordan, France as well as the UK.

Clare Dutton

Hi, my name is Clare Dutton and I am a PADI Staff Instructor and the Director of Duttons Divers. After having my first dive in Cuba I fell in love with the ocean and have been diving ever since. I now have over 7 years diving experience all over the world, and whilst not under the water teaching or exploring, I work as a Fire Officer for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.
In 2014 I established my own Scuba diving training and trip center; Duttons divers, and now teach throughout the Northwest, as well as Lanzarote.
With a keen interest in marine life and protecting our oceans, I created the PADI endorsed Basking Shark Specialty course, to raise money for their conservation, and educate divers on how to safety dive, observe and protect this magnificent marine animal located in our very own UK waters. I consider myself very lucky to have fallen in love with the sea, having the opportunity to really help make a difference to our oceans, and enjoy every second of helping others to take their first breathes under the water and do the same.

Clare Dutton

Gary Dallas

Garry Dallas

Garry, known to many as ‘Sidemount Bob’ or ‘Chewie’, is truly fascinated by the underwater world, equally as happy being mesmerized by the gracefulness and beauty of marine life, as he is with the eerie silence of deep wrecks soaked in history and the remote, stunning speleology decorating the caves around the world.

For nearly 20 years, spending most of his time underwater, he figured that becoming an instructor and passing on his knowledge would be time well spent, and so he did just that. Having qualifications in all of the major training agencies in OC, SCR and CCR, his intrigue into various kit and configurations led him to research the theory, understanding and practicalities into Sidemount diving and its application for all disciplines in diving, for which he is globally reputed.

He finds it in his nature to seek adventure and push himself, clearly evident in his cave diving explorations and ventures; Presenting/speaking at primary and secondary schools, dive centres and national/international dive shows.

He’s a Recreational, Technical and Cave Instructor Trainer, co-owner and director of training for RAID UK & Malta training agency, a key member of the “Apeks Cave Exploration” and “Apeks Tek Testing” teams, exploring newly discovered cenotes in the Yucatan district, Mexico as well as mines and caves in UK and Spain.

He says ” Teaching and diving around the world, I feel privileged to be able to call this surreal, enticing and inspiring underwater realm my office, humbled every time I’m in it… that’s why I enjoy my ‘job’. “

Dave Thompson

Scuba diving is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. Through his presentation titled “Able2 – Dive”, Dave Thompson MBE DL will share his passion for diving which he describes as ‘depth therapy’

All divers appreciate the need for good buoyancy, as it results in a feeling of weightlessness. For many disabled divers it can support manoeuvrability that is impossible to achieve on dry land.

In 1989, Dave sustained a spinal cord injury while playing American Football and is now a full-time wheelchair user with limited use in his left arm and none in his right arm or legs. Despite this, he has completed his PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water qualifications, plus several specialities and, in the past eight years, he has recorded over 180 dives in the UK and abroad.

Dave and his colleagues from Warrington Disability Partnership will be staffing an exhibition stand promoting their annual ‘Going the Extra Mile Scuba Challenge’ which has raised over £25,000 towards their annual Disability Awareness Day. This year’s 64 length pool dive will be held on Saturday 21st October. Anyone can sign up to join them, by organising a session at your clubs pool and raise money through sponsorship, or with Dave in Warrington.

Since its launch in 2011 Dave has set several personal bests including completing the mile in a gruelling one hour and 49 minutes. In 2013 Dave completed the mile using a Poseidon Rebreather, the event was featured on ITV Granada Reports.

Dave’s philosophy of life is: ‘it’s about what we can do that’s important, not what we can’t do’.

Dave Thomspon

Kevin Phillips

Kevin Phillips

Kevin Phillips is the Diving Officer for his local British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) club, East Cheshire SAC. An Instructor, BSAC Advanced Diver and PADI Divemaster, he first started diving at the age of 13 with his father and spent many happy times diving around the Lleyn Peninsula, Anglesey and the Isle of Man. Kevin also enjoys wreck diving, technical diving as well as cave diving. That said Kevin is equally happy on a deep wreck or on a shallow picturesque reef and is happy to share his passion for the underwater world with anyone that will listen. He particularly enjoys instructing new divers and seeing the enjoyment they get from being introduced to the sport he loves.

Kevin particularly enjoys diving with a purpose, from a project to put a training platform into Salford Quays last year through to working with the Ghost Fishing team removing nets from wrecks off Anglesey right up to plans this summer to raise a Bouncing Bomb from a Scottish Loch for display in a museum in time for the 75th Anniversary of Dambusters next year.

Alvin Foy

Alvin Foy is a member of British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC)’s Salford University Diving Society (SUDS)

Alvin discovered his passion for UK diving 15 years ago, after experiencing the underwater world in some of the most exotic locations around the world including Florida, Mexico and the Red Sea. He is now happiest diving the numerous wrecks found off the UK coast.

A BSAC Advanced Diver and BSAC Open Water Instructor, Alvin has always had a preference for the technical side of diving, having been a certified Trimix diver through both TDI and BSAC since 2006. However, Alvin can just as frequently be found teaching Ocean and Sports Diver courses and introducing new divers to his passion for scuba. Most recently, Alvin has completed his BSAC Closed Circuit Rebreather course, taking him to the next phase of diving adventures.

Alvin Foy


Natalie Hirst

Natalie started her diving career as a PADI DMT at her local dive centre in Leeds during college, quickly realising being underwater and protecting its fragile habitats is where she belonged! After further training with BSAC to become an instructor whilst studying Marine biology at Bangor University she then spent a year training volunteers in coral reef survey techniques in Fiji before eventually moving into a career in scientific diving as a HSE IV diver. Almost 15 years since first ducking her head underwater on a try dive, Natalie is now the Seasearch area coordinator for Scotland and a fulltime marine consultant.

Over the last 7 years Natalie’s work has focused on surveys contributing to the Scottish Marine Protected area network and Priority Marine Feature assessments, with a particular interest in benthic communities such as horse mussel reefs and mearl beds. More recently Natalie has moved to the commercial sector and surveys for environmental impact assessments. As Seasearch Scotland coordinator Natalie organises training, dive trips and public events for Seasearch throughout Scotland focusing on filling gaps in knowledge on the marine environment and monitoring of newly designated MPAs.

In the wider U.K Seasearch has a network of regional co-ordinators who deliver training to volunteer recreational divers who have an interest in marine life and who want to contribute to conserving it. Seasearch run a variety of courses to teach divers how to record different habitats and species on their dives. The data collected is used to help monitor and protect the marine environment. Seasearch has been running since the mid-1980s and volunteers dive regularly all around the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and Jersey. Seasearch is coordinated nationally by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), who also coordinate a variety of land based campaigns not just for divers with focus on key issues such as the long established ‘Good fish guide’, microplastic ‘scrub it out’ campaign, and ‘Wet wipes turn nasty’ campaign.

Come along to see the Marine Conservation Society at Stand 430 – opposite the beach, to chat all things marine, its importance and its future.