As part of the Search & Recovery conference taking place at this year’s Dive Show, Rory Golden will deliver a special presentation on the handling of diving equipment following an incident or fatality.
In the last 15 years, Rory has compiled 10 coroner’s court reports on deceased divers’ equipment, and attended eight of them to give evidence.
He has given a presentation on his findings to a mixture of emergency responders, doctors, nurses, etc, who wouldn’t normally be familiar with this scenario. However, there were quite a number of divers also, some very experienced, who afterwards spoke to Rory and told him that they had never realised the importance of this matter.
It made Rory think that this topic should be put out there to the wider diving community, and the natural place for this would be at Dive Ireland 2019.
The presentation isn’t about placing blame. It is about how we look for information from the casualty’s equipment to help understand what might have happened, how we can learn from it, and how important it is to manage equipment after an incident.
It also helps the family of the casualty, to give them some understanding and solace.
The S&R conference will take place at the Digren Energy Room on Sunday, March 3rd, from 2pm.
Rory pictured with his friend David Concannon, fellow Titanic veteran, F1 Project Expedition leader, and maritime attorney.
Rory Golden – whose company, Flagship Scuba, will have an exhibition at the Dive Show – is a vastly-experienced diver whose standout achievements include being the first Irishman to dive to the wreck of the Titanic, and being part of the team that recovered Apollo spacecraft rockets from a depth of 4,200 metres in the North Atlantic. He will be talking about this and other aspects of his life at the Roots Red Sea Room on Saturday, March 2nd, at 2pm.
Underwater photography speaker profile – Barry McGill (Residents Lounge, Saturday, 10am)
Barry McGill is a deep wreck photographer and CCR instructor trainer with Indepth Technical. His main area of focus is exploration of deep water shipwrecks around the Irish coastline and he has been fortunate enough to discover and explore many significant virgin shipwrecks.
Exploring iconic shipwrecks such as the R.M.S. Justicia, H.M.S. Audacious and R.M.S. Lusitania left a significant impression on Barry, which helped develop his desire to discover and explore shipwrecks. Barry has organised and led many deep wreck expeditions exploring the deep wrecks off the north coast of Ireland, which included the S.S. Empress of Britain in 162m and S.S. Transylvania in 130m. Barry has also been part the teams that first discovered and explored the wrecks of HMS Curacoa in 125m (410ft), White Star Liner Carinthia in 116m (380ft), HMS Hurst Castle in 85m (279ft) and World War I German U-boats UB 124 and U45 in 65 m (213ft).
Barry aims to share his passion for shipwreck exploration by capturing and sharing his images of many previously unphotographed shipwrecks including R.M.S. Amazon, H.M.S. Viknor and H.M.S. D6. Barry has been part of a number of television documentaries and his images have appeared in a number of books and other publications, including the New York Times.
The presentation will take a practical view of the various techniques which Barry utilises while diving the wrecks of north Donegal. The presentation will detail the various challenges involved in capturing shipwreck images. The presentation will focus on use of ambient light and development of techniques to allow divers capture the unique landscape of these shipwrecks.
Barry’s presentation will also contain many underwater images and film, including the use of 3D photogrammetry, and will give an insight into the rewards and challenges of photographing these iconic wrecks.
Endlessly patient and full of infectious enthusiasm, he likes nothing more than helping people with their questions about underwater photography, from what camera to buy, and then on how to use it and the necessary accessories to go with it. His mantra has always been ‘Best Advice’, even if that meant losing a sale occasionally, building up trust amongst the people he dealt with.
For this show he’s going back to basics, aiming to inspire and enthuse those curious about UW Photography, but maybe they’re a wee bit put off with the perceived costs of ‘proper’ equipment. So his first talk will look at what is achievable at GoPro pricing, factoring in strobes, wideangle lenses, etc.
And his second talk will look at seeing how you can kickstart your underwater photo skill set with a dedicated trip, that’s not just for the experts, along with developing your skills out of the water too.
You only have to look at Nick’s website – http://nickblakephotography.co.uk/ – to see that he loves working with natural light – and has produced some stunning images using it. In this talk, he will cover how light behaves under water, when shooting with natural light works, the techniques he uses and how he has made successful use of locations he has dived.Nick started diving as a teenager in the 1980s but his longstanding interest in photography only moved underwater in 2004. That was with an Olympus compact camera, after which he moved on to Nikon DSLRs and currently shoots with a Nikon D810 full frame camera. He credits one to one tuition and encouragement from Martin Edge as being instrumental to his development and success.
His competition successes in recent years include the Grandmaster award in the UnderwaterPhotography.com international photo competition, winner of the Advanced British & Irish category in the BSoUP/Diver Print competition, and British Underwater Photographer of the Year in the 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year competition.
Fred Parle – Somali pirate hijack, and ‘The Batavia’ (Roots Red Sea Room, Sunday, 4pm)
Veteran seafarer and diver Fred Parle was famously taken captive by pirates off the coast of Somalia in 2008.
He was the only Irishman on board a Danish-owned tug boat when it was hijacked by pirates, who sought a ransom of hundreds of thousands of US dollars for the return of the ship and its crew. Fred was the chief engineer on the vessel; he had come out of retirement to take this one last job.
The father of four was held captive at sea for 47 days but he survived the ordeal and has many a riveting tale to tell from it. It wasn’t the first time that Fred encountered pirates either; he tells of fighting off another attack by ramming a pirate boat years previously near Bangladesh.
Fred pictured in 1994
Long harbouring a love of the sea, Fred is a vastly experienced diver and founding member of Sligo Sub Aqua Club in 1972.
An enthralling speaker, he has also been researching the sinking of the ‘Batavia’, a treasure-laden Dutch East India Company vessel that was shipwrecked off the west coast of Australia in 1629.
Vincent Hyland – Wild Derrynane (Roots Red Sea Room, Saturday, 12pm)
Vincent explores the relationships between coastal environments (above and below water) and the plants and animals that live within it.
Founder of the multi-award-winning Wild Ireland, Vincent makes wildlife films and provides outdoor education at Wild Derrynane. He speciailises in the application of technology, in particular Augmented Reality, to outdoor exploration and practical ecology to deliver groundbreaking experiences for teachers, school children, third level students, adults, parents and kids.
Based in Derrynane, Co Kerry, Vincent works within Derrynane’s Special Area of Conservation from the mountains to forests, sand dunes, dry heath islands to underwater and onwards to the Bull Rock and Skellig Rocks. He has been scuba diving since 1975, filming underwater since 1990.
Vincent is currently studying biofluorescence in marine life and is a PHd candidate with SMARTlab, UCD. His first book, ‘Wild Derrynane – Wildlife Year and Explorer’s Guide’, will be released shortly.
Mark Rowe – Rec and Tec Instructor with Rubicon Diving, Lanzarote (Roots Red Sea Room, Saturday, 1pm)
Mark is a freediving recreational and technical Instructor for TDI/SDI IANTD, SSI, PADI, BSAC and Diveheart.
He learned to dive in Egypt in 1989 and dived extensively during the 30 years since, organising and instructing on many overseas expeditions.
Mark retired from the rat race in Engineering in 2012 and started traveling with Linda, his wife, and Archie their Pomeranian dog. After spending five years in the Caribbean teaching diving they moved to Lanzarote, finding his home at Rubicon Diving.
He is qualified to teach Open Circuit through to advanced Trimix, in both sidemount and backmount setups, completing dives to 100m in both configurations.
He is also rebreather instructor on the Poseidon Discovery MKVI/SE7EN.
Mark also dives other CCR units including the Evo, Inspiration, and Pathfinder, KISS, and JJCCR.
Passionate about improving all aspects of diver education and safety, he strives to get the very best out of a diver, whatever the level, leading to him developing his mantra of ‘Thinking Diver’.
Today he teaches and guides divers in Lanzarote’s premier dive recreational and technical diving centre, Rubicon Diving, based in Playa Blanca.
Jack Trá – Marine conservation and Ireland’s kelp forests (Roots Red Sea Room, Sunday, 10am)
Hailing from Clonakilty, Co Cork, Jack O’Donovan Trá is a Zoology graduate of NUI Galway and Campaigns Officer at the Marine Conservation Society.
Over the last few years Jack has travelled to the far corners of the globe on field research expeditions working with NGOs and small research groups, as well as working on issues close to home. His focus in marine conservation has led him to work with nesting sea turtles around the Greek islands, Humpback, Fin and Killer Whales in British Columbia, and to spend magical hours among the native kelp forests encompassing Ireland’s south and west coasts.
With our ocean facing graver threats year on year, we are at a crucial point in history where the actions of today will seal the fate of tomorrow, and the map to a bright future sits firmly in our hands.
Ken O’Sullivan of ‘Ireland’s Deep Atlantic’ to talk at the show (Roots Red Sea Room, Saturday, 3pm)
Ken has been a documentary filmmaker, cameraman and ocean conservationist for 13 years. During that time, he has produced, directed and filmed natural history documentary series for RTÉ and TG4, and worked as cameraman/director for BBC NHU, CBC Canada and ITV, and as cinematographer for TV commercials and drama projects.
In 2006 Ken established Sea Fever Productions with his wife and film-making partner Katrina Costello to produce creative and natural history documentary films in Ireland. In 2018 he finished shooting and presenting ‘Ireland’s Deep Atlantic’ for RTÉ, an ambitious natural history project exploring Ireland’s deep Atlantic for the first time in any TV production.
In 2016 and 2017 Ken produced and was co-cinematographer for ‘The Silver Branch’, an award-winning creative, feature-length documentary for the Irish Film Board on Burren poet-farmer Patrick McCormack, and the changing nature of our connection with landscape in Ireland, directed by Katrina Costello.
Also completing ‘Ireland’s Ocean’, a landmark four-part series for RTÉ documenting life on the shallow coastal seas, Ken was cameraman/director of BBC’s ‘Atlantic’ series, CBC Canada’s ‘Nature of Things’ documentary on jellyfish, and an ITV documentary on whales and sharks in the Celtic deep sea and North Atlantic.
In 2011, Ken shot and directed ‘Farraigí na hÉireann’, a six-part series in the Irish language for TG4. He is a passionate marine conservationist and heavily involved in conservation projects on sharks, skates and rays in Ireland, particularly in the highly unique Tralee Bay, Co Kerry, where Ken’s family lived as fishermen and farmers for 250 years and where he spent the summers of his youth. He works very hard to contribute to cetacean (whale & dolphin) research in Ireland an internationally, working closely with academic institutions, the Marine Institute and conservation organisations.
The last series of ‘Ireland’s Deep Atlantic’ will contribute to and collaborate on six scientific research papers from subjects documented within the series.
See www.SeaFeverProductions.com for more
Cathal O Fearghail – Teaching scuba diving to teenagers (Roots Red Sea Room, Saturday, 1.40pm)
Diving in Ireland since 2008, Cathal has been Dive Officer with UCD Sub Aqua Club for the last 3 seasons.
Although UCD is one of Ireland’s largest training clubs, taking on 40+ trainees a year, they often have to turn away over a hundred applicants every September.
Recognising this, and also that many smaller CFT clubs need a membership to survive but are not in a position to train new members (particularly teenagers), Cathal set up a dive club in his secondary school in Wicklow town where he teaches, to prepare the next generation of qualified divers ready for the club system. This will be the basis of his talk.
Starting with 15/16-year olds in Transition Year, they then keep active right up to Leaving Cert with national and international trips for both pleasure diving and training as well as social events such as RNLI station visits and film screenings . There will eventually be 70 qualified divers in the school at a time. Cathal is currently assisting other schools in the locality set up scuba clubs for teenagers.
Feargus Callagy – The Art of Freediving (Roots Red Sea Room, Sunday, 12pm)
Starting out with Leitrim Sub Aqua Club, Feargus began his first freedive course for his 30th birthday in the submarine escape training tank in Gosport. From then on, his fate was sealed!
He returned to the UK to do open water courses and then travelled to Egypt under the AIDA school, completing his instructor course with Apnea Academy in 2010. One of the things that attracted him was that AIDA world champion Umberto Pelizzari delivers the course and Feargus admired his philosophy.
Since then, Feargus has competed in the UK and received many national records.“My initial motivation in the switch from scuba to freedive was to be closer to marine life, and that remains with me today,” he said.
Stephen Keenan, who went on to open Dahab Freedivers with Miguel Lozano and became head of safety for many competitions worldwide, did his first freedive course with Feargus. “He decimated any record I had. In the end he died rescuing his friend. Him, and his smile are still sorely missed around the world and in our hearts.”
Due to time constraints, Feargus has only a few courses on a present. He still loves teaching and seeing the buzz people get when they surpass what they thought they were capable of.
He also works in mental health and is focused on how outdoor activities and the ocean can help heal, and how disconnected many of us have gotten from the earth and the ocean.
Peter McCamley – Diving The Lusitania (Roots Red Sea Room, Sunday, 2pm)
Peter McCamley of Gas Technologies is preparing a very interesting talk on leading a team of international divers to the wreck of the Lusitania.
Peter has been diving since 1981, having been trained by Shane Gray in Dublin. Based in Newry, Co Down, he counts himself blessed to have Strangford Lough on his doorstep, which, due its sheltered location, allows divers the opportunity to dive the whole year-round.
“My passion is Closed Circuit Rebreather Technical Deep Wreck Diving and the production of video and photographs of the deep wrecks being dived,” Peter said.
“My other passion lies in the production of safe, fit-for-purpose gas production for all types of diving. This is carried out through our company, Gas Technologies.”
Peter holds the qualification of CCR Rebreather & Open Water Instructor and has been diving a closed circuit rebreather for 10 years, 9 years as a MODIII Diver, with over 3,000 hours on CCR. He is very fortunate to have been part of dive teams that have dived deep wrecks in Normandy, Italy, Malta, Sardinia, Greece, the Red Sea, Australia, the South China Seas, and, particularly, the Price of Wales and the Repulse, two of the largest British battleships sunk in WWII.
“In 2012, I was fortunate to be part of a team that dived the USS Saratoga and the fleet that was destroyed by nuclear testing in 1946 in the South Pacific in Bikini Atol,” Peter said. “In 2017, I was part of a team to dive HMS Britannic and last year was very fortunate to be part of a team that dived numerous wrecks, as well as the WWII wreck of the USS Atlanta that lies in over 130m in Iron Bottom Sound, Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.
“If I’m not diving on a wreck on some far off part of the planet, I will be diving on what I consider to be the best wreck diving on the planet, which again is on my doorstep and that’s in north Donegal. It is here in these gin-clear, deep-blue waters of the North Atlantic that for the past 12 years we having been taking teams of suitably qualified divers from all over the planet, during the summer months, up to 50 miles off shore diving, investigating, documenting, photographing and videoing shipwreck losses from both World Wars. Presently our dive platform is a purpose built, 50ft, twin-engined catamaran complete with diver lift.
“The depths will range from 60m down to 140m, and we will provide you with some of the best shipwreck diving on the planet. Full logistics supplied on site. In 2019, we will have one week in June, two weeks in July and one week in August. If this is something that would interest you, please get in touch.”
Alex Diamond – Diving on the Cote d’Azur (Roots Red Sea Room, Saturday, 1.20pm)
Alex is only one of a very small number of foreigners to ever hold the French State Instructor ticket, the Diplome d’Etat.
After studies and a previous professional career spanning ten years in London, he founded Diamond Diving in 2006 with the aim of catering to an expatriate and English speaking market on the Cote d’Azur. For three years he operated as a ‘niche’ freelance instructor and tour operator welcoming small groups from clubs and commercial centres.
In 2009, together with partner and better half Noemie, they purchased a 6.5m RIB, rental equipment and a Land Rover. Now they operate two RIBS, with a maximum capacity of 16, and are the only active PADI Instructor Development Centre in the Alpes-Maritimes.
Alex became a Course Director in 2012. His short talk will revolve around the attractions of the South of France as a convenient, close, value for money destination with some excellent diving. He also aims to bust various myths about France being an ‘awkward’ destination.
John Leech, CEO of Irish Water Safety (Roots Red Sea Room, Sunday, 11am)
John is a Hydrophile! A drowning prevention advocate, lover of aquatic sports and pursuits, he joined the Athlone Sub Aqua Club in 1977.
In 1979 he joined the Navy as an Executive Officer. He spent almost two years training with the Royal Navy. He underwent his first diving course in HMS Vernon, Portsmouth, in 1980, and then completed more courses at the Naval Base in Haulbowline and from ships throughout his Naval career.
John then served in a number of appointments, including Officer in Charge of the Naval Diving Section for almost three years. He also commanded LE Aisling and LE Orla.
He was twice seconded from the Navy. The first time was to sail on the NCB Ireland and the second occasion was to sail onboard STV Asgard II.
In February 2001, after 21 and a half years, he took up appointment as CEO of Irish Water Safety, which is the statutory body established to promote water safety in Ireland.
John maintains a keen interest in diving and remains reasonably active as a recreational diver. He is currently Commodore of Lough Derg Yacht Club.
Tom Harvey – Nenagh Ormond Search Unit (Roots Red Sea Room, Sunday, 1.20pm)
Tom Harvey will attend Dive Ireland 2019 to deliver a short talk on the vital role played in the local region and throughout Ireland by Nenagh Ormond Search Unit.
Originally from Birdhill, Co Tipperary, Tom is co-founder of NOSU along with Marcey Keogh. He has overseen the unit expand with the help of members since 2014.
Nenagh Ormond Search Unit has strong links with other search & rescue units around the country. In 2017 the unit received an award from Tipperary gardaí for services to the community.
Tom is currently unit commander and chairperson of the unit, which has just gained charity status. He will talk about the voluntary work of this local service, including search operations that have involved divers.
Matt Jevon of South West Tech to speak at the Dive Show (Roots Red Sea Room, Sunday, 3pm)
Diving has provided me with challenges and rewards that appeal to both my CDO (that’s OCD in the right order!) and my interest in human performance, my own and others.
I dived initially just for fun, as a business and sports career did not allow me the time to develop my interest in the underwater world further. In 2009 I rekindled my interests and in particular in technical and sidemount diving. I trained initially with Steve Martin, which is where I met my current cave team mate and partner in our dive centre South West Technical Diving (www.swt.ie) Greg Jagielski.
I run a page on Facebook called psychological skills for diving (I am a trained sports psychologist) so I know that one size fits all training is not appropriate. Learning a skill physically is not the same as developing a knowledgeable and thinking diver, one comfortable with all environments and stressors. I believe in attention to detail, a passion to ‘get it right’ for my students and I am a complete deco nerd. As a mixed gas open circuit and trimix JJ-CCR instructor for TDI, I am lucky that I get to share this passion with so many people in so many beautiful places.
My sports and business careers have involved me in coaching at the highest level, internationally in Rugby, and with some very talented business people. I believe in a coaching approach; if you want a pseudo-military approach, you won’t find it with me.
I started, as many do, in the warm waters of the Bahamas in the late ’80s, then progressed through to some incredible fun diving in the Maldives, Spain, Tenerife and more, until the tech bug bit in 2010.
I completed full trimix open circuit in sidemount configuration in 2012 and have dived comfortably past 100m using sidemount. Although I am a passionate CCR diver now (over 1,000 hours and a mixed gas (Mod 2) instructor) for deeper dives in wrecks and caves, I use the sidemount principles for stage/deco cylinder rigging and management. The advantages are huge.
I now enjoy teaching overhead, technical dpv and mixed gas courses, but there is a true pleasure in sharing with a student the freedom and feel of a properly configured sidemount system. Building on this for a student to learn skills and theory is only a start. How to apply that knowledge, when to apply that knowledge creates thinking and confident divers. Divers I would be happy to dive with or have dived with someone I loved. If I put my name on your cert card I will be proud of what you have achieved and certain that you have reached a level of diving where you will have earned that recognition.
I ensure I only teach half the time I dive, the rest of that time is for my own personal development, for fun or for exploration. I have been privileged to join expeditions in Croatia (wreck), The Philippines (cave), China and more. I cannot share experience while teaching if I do not invest in that experience. Don’t worry though, I dive a lot so half my time teaching is plenty of time to fit you in.
I dive now all over the world, in Open Circuit predominantly in sidemount and in closed circuit on my JJ. Recent adventures have included 70m plus dives in caves in France, Truk Lagoon, The Philippines, Egypt, Croatia, Mexico and more. Philippines revisit for teaching and China for a project in late 2018 is already booked!
I am based in Ireland and own 50% of South West Technical Diving, an exclusively focused technical centre. We have been recognised as an Apeks tech centre and are dealers for Apeks, Xdeep, Razor, JJ-CCR and more. We service Apeks and JJ-CCR and we only sell equipment we actually dive ourselves. I’m happy to teach in Ireland, Croatia, Egypt and globally as needed.
What did technical diving ever do for us?
For Dive Ireland 2019, Matt is preparing an interactive talk along the lines of the Monty Python song, ‘What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?’ Below is a screenshot of his first slide. The subject areas to the right highlight what technical diving has contributed to diving over the years since it started in 1935.
Matt will do an overview, history of tech diving, what it is and isn’t, and then the audience can choose which of these topics to head into in more detail for discussion.
Thailand cave rescue diver Jim Warny to talk at the Dive Show (Digren Energy Room, Saturday, 4.30pm)
Jim Warny was born in Belgium in 1982. He started diving in 1997 and soon got attracted by the technical side of the sport.
He modified and built custom diving equipment to enable him to progress deeper into caves. He has participated in multiple expeditions in France, Italy and recently in the Huautla cave system in Mexico.
But when Jim moved to Ireland in 2004 he truly found his calling in the dark caves and resurgences in the Galway/Clare region.
Following in the footsteps of previous explorers, Jim extended explorations in various sites, amounting to many kilometres of new caves, one of these being the longest sump in Ireland, amounting in a 2.9km.
Jim continues to be very active in the Irish caving and the cave diving scene.
In June of 2018, he was part of the team of British cave divers who played a leading role in the 2018 Tham Luang Thailand cave rescue
Photographer Barry McGill to talk about deep wreck exploration (Residents Lounge, Saturday, 10am)
Barry McGill is an Irish based deep wreck photographer and CCR instructor trainer with Indepth Technical. His main area of focus is exploration of deep water shipwrecks around the Irish coastline and he has been fortunate enough to discover and explore many significant virgin shipwrecks.
Barry was deeply moved by the naval history of both World Wars in the North Atlantic and was inspired by the stories of lost ocean liners with cargos of gold such as S.S. Laurentic and the Empress of Britain, which lies just off his native Donegal. Since his first adventure on these famous wrecks, his passion for exploration and wreck diving has been fuelled by the vast marine history that surrounds the Irish coastline.
Exploring iconic shipwrecks such as the R.M.S. Justicia, H.M.S. Audacious and R.M.S. Lusitania left a significant impression on Barry, which helped develop his desire to discover and explore shipwrecks. Barry has organised and led many deep wreck expeditions exploring the deep wrecks off the North coast of Ireland, which included the S.S. Empress of Britain in 162m and S.S. Transylvania in 130m. Barry was also part of the teams that first discovered and explored the wrecks of H.M.S. Curacao in 125 m, White Star Liner Carinthia in 116m and H.M.S. Hurst Castle in 85m.
Barry aims to share his passion for shipwreck exploration by capturing and sharing his images of many previously unphotographed shipwrecks including R.M.S. Amazon, H.M.S. Viknor and H.M.S. D6. Barry has been part of a number of television documentaries and his images have appeared in a number of books and other publications, including the New York Times.
‘TED talk’ – Tadhg O’Brien, Burren SAC (Roots Red Sea Room, Sunday, 1.40pm)
Tadhg O’Brien has been a keen diver for 40 years.
He is a founder member and PRO of Burren Sub Aqua Club in Co Clare, and he is a campaigner for marine protected areas (MPAs) in Irish waters.
While Irish territorial waters cover over 500,00 square kilometres, only Lough Hyne (0.5 square kilometres) in Cork can be considered as a MPA in Ireland.
Tadhg’s short presentation will try to explain what MPAs are, their benefits – to divers and the environment – the current situation in Ireland and what divers can do to have at least 10% of Irish waters designated as MPAs.
Robert Foyle to speak about wildlife on Lough Derg (Roots Red Sea Room, Saturday, 4pm)
Robert Foyle is a retired Civil Engineer. Born in Kent, UK, in 1948, he has always had a passion for wildlife, and joined the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the UK at the age of 10. He is a member of Birdwatch Ireland, Golden Eagle Trust, Irish Raptor Society, and UK Birds of Prey Group.
Robert is a passionate photographer of all wildlife and fauna, but in particular birds of prey. After studying in London as a Civil Engineer, he moved to Germany in 1974 and lived there for 26 years. He was fortunate to continue his hobby, photographing wildlife throughout many countries in Europe, photographing mostly Eagles and Raptors, and all smaller types of birds of prey.
Living in Ireland for the past 18 years on Lough Derg at Terryglass, Co Tipperary, Robert is a member of Inland Waterways of Ireland. He has sailed extensively on Lough Derg and cruised, on two occasions, the full length of the River Shannon from Rockingham to Killaloe on a 1920s barge – 56M – with his wife.
In 2008/9 Robert became very interested in the White-Tailed Sea Eagle (WTSE) re-introduction programme in Ireland. The White-Tailed Sea Eagle became extinct here in 1910. Robert joined the Golden Eagle Trust to monitor the progress on their website, and made several birdwatching trips to Killarney, Donegal, Sligo, and to Connemara.
In 2012 he made his first sighting, near his house in Terryglass, of a young White-Tailed Sea Eagle, Tag D, released in Killarney in 2010, soaring over Lough Derg between Terryglass and Portumna Forest Park. In 2012 and 2013 he spent many weekends on Lough Derg and at the Campsite at Mountshannon, viewing and photographing the WTSEs there who became the first pair in 100 years to raise chicks in Ireland.
In 2013 he spotted another pair in Portumna who were beginning to build a nest on Church Island off Portumna Forest Park. January and February 2014 was an exciting time when Robert photographed the new pair at their nest, only 2.5km from his house. He reported these again to the Eagle Trust and then began a regular log of their daily actions, mostly viewed from the shore at ‘The Bench’ in Portumna Forest Park.
In 2015 Robert spent six weeks in Germany photographing WTSEs, Kites, Osprey, Red Kites, Red Kites in Wales and UK, and Bald Eagles on the Fraser River near Vancouver in Canada. In the summer of 2017 he spent six weeks in Germany, Czech Rebublic, Slovakia, and Poland photographing Eagles (Golden, Spotted and Lesser Spotted), various Raptors, and Storks.
Coillte and the National Parks & Wildlife Service built a superb hide, which has public access for up to 8 people, with direct views to the Eagles’ nest, approx 350m from the hide. This gave excellent shelter in February and March 2017 as the adults started to rebuild the nest site after the winter storms for another breeding season. The Eagles can be viewed here from March to July and seen on a daily basis.
Robert has spent many hundreds of hours studying and photographing this pair in Portumna, and now has an extensive collection of photographs. He has prepared a full presentation of a 12-month breeding cycle of the White-Tailed Sea Eagle pair at Portumna, from nest-building, mating, through incubation, feeding chicks, to fledging. He has given a presentation several times to various groups including 12 Birdwatch Ireland branches across Ireland, and the Inland Waterways Ireland Lough Derg branch.
Pertti Arvonen of UWIS to give a talk at Dive Ireland 2019 (Roots Red Sea Room, Saturday, 10am)
Pertti Arvonen is CEO of UWIS Oy from Finland. He has 20 years of experience in global industry, mainly from the power electronic sector. He is co-founder of UWIS Oy, which was established in summer 2014 for only one purpose – to create a new navigation and communication system for divers.
Pertti is a rookie as a diver (AOWD) but has already participated in many different dive events and exercises, which focused on underwater navigation and tracking.
UWIS – the system and technological innovation behind it – arose from the need of navigation during rescue missions. This system brings all the same features available for the underwater world, which are commonly used above the water surface, provided by satellite location systems.
UWIS – Tracker shows 3D locations of max 100 divers, supporting max 100 different messages and point of interests. It stores diving data to log files for secondary analysis. Underwater, it supports several paired display units like Alltab tablet, mobile phones, GoPro cameras, and later dive computers. Using the UWIS system, it is possible for a diver to follow the whole group and send messages from the diver to the others or with the boat personnel.
The main target for the system was and still is to provide a helping tool for professional diving, rescue missions and searching. It also helps dive operators to control big diving groups and avoid anyone getting lost. Above all, it gives divers the opportunity to enjoy the freedom of diving.
Click the logo to visit the UWIS website and learn more.
Rory Golden: Diver, Speaker, Explorer (Roots Red Sea Room, Saturday, 2pm)
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 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDE_9hUPoEQ
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 – http://www.bezosexpeditions.com/updates.html
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
Web page: www.rorygolden.com
“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