Rory Golden: Diver, Speaker, Explorer

Rory Golden became the first Irish diver to visit the site of RMS Titanic in August 2000. He was a member of an expedition that recovered 800 artefacts from nearly 4,000 metres. His dive was in a Russian submersible, and he left a memorial plaque on the wreck on behalf of the people of Ireland. He also spotted the main ship’s wheel, which was recovered on the dive.

Returning in August 2005, he left two more memorial plaques from Belfast on the ship. This expedition was broadcast as a documentary, “A Journey to Remember”, on BBC. The trip to the seabed takes two-and-a-half hours, with a total journey time of 12 hours. The submarines have a life support pressure hull of only 2 metres diameter for three, and an operating depth of 6,000 metres. The external pressure at 4,000 metres is 400 Bar, or 6,000 lbs per square inch.

More people have been to outer space than to these ocean depths.

Rory’s talks include: a 15-date UK tour, Titanic – Belfast, the National Museum of Ireland, National Concert Hall Dublin, Belfast City Council, Irish Titanic Historical Society, Belfast Titanic Society, Irish and UK dive shows, National Maritime Museum, National Maritime College of Ireland, schools and colleges, after dinner events, Oceanology International and The Explorers Club.

His presentation includes images from his own trips, but also many unique ones taken by his friend, the late Ralph White, from the 1985 wreck discovery and the first artefact recovery trip in 1987.

MD of Virgin Records Ireland for 15 years, Rory founded his own company, Flagship Scubadiving Ltd, when he left the music industry after 25 years.

He has been involved in diving since 1976, as instructor and commercial diver, as well as PRO for the Irish Underwater Council. His company supplies and services diving and specialised marine equipment to state agencies, such as the Irish Coast Guard, Navy Divers, Civil Defence, Army Ranger Wing, the Garda Water Unit, Inland Fisheries, and Search & Recovery units.

An ambassador for the Titanic100 Cobh 2012 commemoration events, he also spoke at Belfast City Hall on the 100th anniversary of the sinking on April 15th. He is a regular contributor to BBC and RTÉ broadcasting authorities –

He has climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, did a tandem freefall parachute jump from 13,500 feet for the ISPCC children’s charity, and set up Ireland’s first inland dive centre in a flooded slate quarry near Nenagh in Portroe, Co Tipperary. He is a regular hiker in Wicklow and Connemara.

In March 2013 he was a member of the Bezos Expedition’s F-1 Engine Recovery Project, which recovered Apollo F-1 rocket engines from 4,200 metres in the North Atlantic, including the centre engine from Apollo 11. The team was awarded a Citation of Merit by the Explorers Club of New York –

Rory is also a Member International of the Explorers Club, vice-Chair of its Great Britain and Ireland Chapter, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society

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“Rory is wonderful to listen to – his passion, enthusiasm and ability to respond dynamically to the unique characteristics of each audience, make the delivery of his subject matter a pleasure to listen to. Charismatic, entertaining and engaging are the understatements of the day. Keep it up, you’re great at it!”

Susan Heaney, Ocean Exploration Manager, Titanic Belfast

“Seascapes attended one of the most memorable events held to commemorate the Titanic. On Thursday evening last you could hear a pin drop – Rory talked without any reference to notes, letting the images on the screen behind him take listeners in the rapt audience on the journey of discovery to the bottom of the Atlantic where the great vessel the Titanic lies at rest.”

Marcus Connaughton, Seascapes, RTÉ Radio 1

“Rory has this remarkable ability to transport his audience, and you find yourself stood on the dock watching RMS Titanic set sail. It doesn’t matter how big or small the venue is, he has a warm storytelling manner that draws you in. Would I hire him as a speaker again? For sure. Rory knows his facts, listens to the brief, tailors his talk to the audience, and judges his timing perfectly.”

Rosemary Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company

“Rory delivered an unbelievable presentation on the evening and, as required, customised this perfectly to make it relevant to his audience. He spoke about his life events, including his times in the music industry and how these coincided with his adventures to the bottom of the ocean to visit the Titanic and Apollo engines, amongst other things. We found his presentation fascinating, moving and in some places emotional. It was immediately obvious the incredible attention to detail which was put into this event by Rory, not to mention the decades beforehand that come together to allow for such a passionate speech for his audience.”

Brian Dempsey, past President of the IPAV

“I’d like to call out a bunch of thank yous to Rory Golden for his incredible Irish wisdom, which put us on the right track multiple times. Rory also wins the best eye award – nobody could spot faint markings and mentally map twisted, corroded, 90% concealed parts like Rory.”

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and sponsor of the Apollo F-1 Engine Search & Recovery Project


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