Richie Kohler [USA] Professional Technical Diver and Cinematographer, Technical Diving and ShipWreck Exploration, North Atlantic Wreck Divers
Richie Kohler is a filmmaker, author and explorer whose diving experiences began in the waters surrounding Brooklyn NY, but his passion for diving and exploring shipwrecks have taken him to all corners of the globe. As a founding member of the NY based group, the “Atlantic Wreck Divers” Kohler has spent the last 35 years exploring and identifying lost shipwrecks and those exploits have been documented in newspapers, magazines, documentary films and numerous books. Kohler holds nearly every diving qualification, has certified scores of technical divers in advanced diving techniques and has led shipwreck expeditions around the world.
In 1992 his work (alongside partner John Chatterton) to identify a previously unknown German U-boat was the focus of an Emmy award-winning NOVA documentary, “Hitler’s Lost Sub”. That six-year effort was the subject of several television documentaries and a best-selling book, “Shadow Divers” by Robert Kurson, a New York Times bestseller that’s slated to be a major motion picture by Universal Studios. The success of that program launched his career in underwater filmmaking. Kohler co-hosted and produced fifty-six episodes of the popular History Channel program “Deep Sea Detectives” which was watched by millions of people worldwide. The educational program focused on underwater mysteries in nearly every aquatic environment and inspired many to discover diving and explore the undersea world.
Kohler’s has produced numerous other television programs detailing his explorations on some of the most famous shipwrecks in the world, including the Andrea Doria, RMS Titanic, and the HMHS Britannic. Kohler has worked on film projects for Paramount Pictures, CBS, PBS/NOVA, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Universal Studios and most recently Kohler joined legendary underwater explorer Dr. Bob Ballard aboard his research ship, EV Nautilus, documenting deepwater shipwrecks in the Gulf of Mexico.
Kohler’s work is often focused on the human aspect of shipwreck tragedies and he has made it a point of reaching out to the survivors and families answering questions and providing closure on wrecks such as the U-215, U-869, USS Murphy, USS Lagarto and the PC 566. Most recently his work righting historical wrongs culminated in an award ceremony at the US Pentagon in which the Secretary of the Navy posthumously awarded the Legion of Merit with Valor to a World War Two Captain.
A fellow in the Explorer’s Club, Kohler continues to lead expeditions worldwide in search of lost ships and the mysteries they hold. He has written dozens of articles about shipwrecks, deep diving and diver safety and just published his first book, Mystery of the Last Olympian detailing his decade of work on Titanic’s sister ship Britannic. Over the years he has made numerous presentations at schools, libraries, diving conventions and symposiums promoting diving safety, education and awareness.
Cristina Zenato [Bahamas] Member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, Marine Explorer, Educator and Conservationist
A professional diver since 1994, Cristina is an ocean and cave explorer, shark behaviourist, photographer, speaker, writer and conservationist.
A member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame, and The Explorers Club, she is a firm believer in the power of education and spends her time teaching below and above the water. She has conducted the exploration and surveys of numerous new cave systems and is the first person to ever connect an entrance on land with an open ocean blue hole.
She is the founder of the nonprofit People of the Water, organized to widen the distribution of training, education, research related to ocean and environmental issues.
Jill Heinerth [Canada] Underwater Explorer and Photographer with National Geographic, NOAA, and television networks worldwide, Explorer in Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Recipient of Canada’s Polar Medal and Author
Jill Heinerth is a veteran of over thirty years of filming, photography and exploration on projects in submerged caves around the world with National Geographic, NOAA, and television networks worldwide. She is the Explorer in Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, recipient of Canada’s prestigious Polar Medal and the diving world’s highest award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences. Partnering with Penguin Random House in Canada and Harper Collins in the US, Jill will soon be releasing four new major-market, non-fiction and children’s books.
Pete Mesley [NewZealand] Wreck and Cave Underwater Photographer
Pete has made his passion into a full-time career in the dive industry spanning over 27 years now. Moving to New Zealand in 1994, Pete has worked his way into becoming one of the Southern Hemispheres most experienced tech divers and Instructor Trainers. His career has taken him exploring over 26 different countries in search of WWI and WWII shipwrecks, cave systems and big animal sites. His company Lust4Rust Dive Excursions has been dedicated to taking technical rebreather divers to remote locations diving some of the worlds most sort after wrecks. Petes total focus on diver safety led him to pave the way to having Medical support on all his trips. Member of the Explorers Club, lover of Shiraz!
Ben Reymenants [Finland] Fellow of the Explorer Club, Technical Diver and Cave Explorer, Director at ACET Offshore and Managing Director at Blue Label Diving SSI and Bergsport
Ben Reymenants is probably best to know for his deep dives, his work in the diving medicine field and cave explorations. His career spans close to 3 decades underwater and his exploits and teaching style makes him popular for technical courses.
He owns a dive centre in Phuket Thailand where he runs technical instructor workshops and deep cave courses in the jungle.
He is a fellow of the explorers club and he was part of the initial cave rescue team in the North of Thailand for which he was decorated.
David Strike [Australia] ADEX Ambassador For Technical Diving, Pioneer & Fellow of The Explorers Club
With a background in military, commercial, recreational and technical diving, David Strike is a regular speaker and presenter at regional and international diving events. A former Field editor for Asian Diver Magazine who has authored several hundred articles about diving and organised several world-class technical diving events, he is the recipient of the ADEX ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for contributions to Technical Diving, and a Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York.