Speakers

We are excited to welcome several top-speakers, shearing their experiences!

Roberta Eliodoro & Francesco Tedesco (IT)

Speciality: Diving in Calabria (IT) - From REC to TEC
Time: 10:00-10:45
Website: www.megalehellas.net
Information:
Diving With…. Megale Hellas Diving Center, Marina di Gioiosa Ionica, Calabria, South of Italy. .../>


Our Diving Center is located in a little known scuba diving destination, uncontaminated, with breathtaking nature and landscapes! We are at the end of Italian peninsula, in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, in a region characterized by high mountains close the coastline, with steep sea floors. So, there’s no problem for every kind of diving level, from Open Water to Technical divers! Every preference of diving can be satisfied, because there are many well preserved wrecks, amazing cliffs and reef with colourful gorgonians and a lot of little biodiversity!

Thorsten Wälde (GER)

Speciality: Cave Diving
Time: 11:00-11:45
Website: toddy-style.com/?lang=en
Information:
Thorsten “Toddy” Wälde, instructor and instructor trainer in technical diving, is the inventor ...and “mastermind” of the Toddy-Style sidemount system. Already at the age of 22 years he decided to make a professional career in diving. After several years as a diving instructor and operator of diving centers in Offenbach and Freiburg in Breisgau, he turned toward technical Trimix diving, and later in 2001 on to Mexico. Here he lived and worked for several years on the Yucatan peninsula, devoting his time to cave diving, working as a diving guide and instructor, and participating in expeditions, film and research projects in the vast and complex cave systems of the Mexican peninsula.

Pascal Van Erp (NL)

Speciality: Ghost Diving
Time: 12:00-12:45
Website: www.ghostdiving.org
Information:
Pascal is a GUE trained technical diver with a strong preference for wreck diving. He made hundreds ...of dives all over the world, during these dives, he encountered lost- and abandoned fishing gear and the sad and severe consequences for the life under water. Since he is co-founder of a Dutch North Sea cleanup project in 2009 he became driven by the removal of lost gear in the North Sea. Based on his experience and specific vision on diving operations related to environmental issues, Pascal decided in 2012 to dedicate his diving exclusively to environmental protection and started the Ghost Fishing Foundation — an international non-profit executed by volunteer technical divers which initiates, supports and promotes lost fishing gear removal initiatives. They often collaborate with other organizations like Healthy Seas, Greenpeace and World Animal Protection preferrably with the help of one of the rapidly expanding local Ghost Diving chapters in nearly every corner of the world.

Steve Burke (UK)

Speciality: Wreck diver
Time: 13:00-13:45
Website:
Information:
This is the story of the Graf Zeppelin, now lying wrecked in the Baltic Sea.

Launched in ...1938, and measuring over a quarter of a kilometre in length, the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin was the largest ship ever built by Nazi Germany. She was to operate the most modern carrier aircraft in the western world, and as such was feared by Great Britain’s Royal Navy.
Planned as one of four carriers, the premature start to World War II ensured that the others never materialised, leaving the Graf Zeppelin as Germany’s sole aircraft carrier.
Stephen Burke has been a scuba diver since the age of fourteen and has always been fascinated by the history that lies beneath the waves. Having dived the World War I German fleet at Scapa Flow, and many other wrecks around our coast both military and merchant, a description in a naval encyclopaedia of the German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin grasped his imagination. Recounting (incorrectly) how she was believed to have sunk after hitting a mine in the Gulf of Finland, the few lines dedicated to the carrier on that single page of the encyclopaedia were enough to ensure several years of research would ensue.

Geert Nies (BE)

Speciality: Underwater Photography
Time: 15:00-15:45
Website: www.mes-bvba.be
Information:
More info to be confirmed...

Seppe Machiels (BE)

Speciality: Military Diving
Time: 16:00-16:45
Website: www.mil.be
Information:
I joined the Belgian Navy in 2001 and went for a master degree at the Royal Military Academy. After ...some years on board of minehunters, I was allowed to start the diving course in the winter of 2010. As an EOD diver, I spent some more time on board and in the Belgian Defence diving school. In my current function, one of my jobs is to represent the divers on national and international fora.
During the keynote I’ll guide you through the different aspects of Belgian military diving, taking my personal story as guideline.
For the ones who liked “Kamp Waes”, my buddy for this event will be a colleague of “Fly”.

Inge Verbruggen (BE)

Speciality: Freediving
Time: 17:00-17:45
Website: ingeverbruggen.com
Information:
In 2010 I learned scuba diving and fell in love with the underwater world. Colourful fish, sharks, d...olphins, beautiful corals and anemones, ... Under water I completely calmed down.

3 years later I discovered scuba diving and I was immediately sold. Freediving is not only a physical but also a mental sport. You learn to relax your mind and you get more control over your body. You learn to push your limits and step out of your comfort zone. Meditation, breathing exercises, stretching, ... It all contributes to a healthier lifestyle.

In 2015 I achieved my first national record. Meanwhile, I have 24 Belgian national records in all depth disciplines to my name. In 2019 I was able to represent Belgium at the Aida World Championships in Nice.

Since 2017, I have been giving freediving lessons. I enjoy sharing my passion for freediving with you!

Steven Surina (FR)

Speciality: Shark Diving
Time: 19:00-19:45
Website: www.sharkeducation.com/equipe
Information:
Steven Surina has been an expatriate in Egypt since 2002, and grew up in a diving club run by his fa...mily, through which he travelled the Red Sea to the gates of Djibouti via Sudan, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia. He travels the world to perfect his experience and has been diving more than 500 times a year with sharks for the last ten years.

This includes dozens of dives out of cages with the great white shark, a hundred hours spent alongside tiger and bulldog sharks and more than a thousand dives in daily contact with the oceanic shark.

His various journeys through thousands of dives in the company of sharks will lead him to empirically study their behaviour, but also their fragility and conservation.

Audrey Cudel (MALTA)

Speciality: Sidemount Diving
Time: 20:00-20:45
Website: audreycudel.com
Information:
Audrey Cudel is a Technical Diving Instructor and renowned Underwater Photographer whose style is fa...mous within the Technical Diving community. She founded a renowned Technical Diving Facility in Gozo (Malta) back in 2012 before establishing her own company AUDREY CUDEL TECHNICAL operating worldwide and specialising in Sidemount Essentials & Technical Sidemount, Cave Diving training and related equipment. After more than 25 years of diving, she has been actively teaching Technical Diving in Egypt, Gozo/Malta, Mexico and Spain. Over the past 10 years teaching up to Full Cave & Decompression Procedure levels, she has decided to specialise herself in Sidemount, Technical Sidemount & Cave Diving Training to share the best out of her passion and experience in these fields. She also truly believes that diving for herself in her spare time enhances the foundations of her own skill level to be shared with her students.

Richie Kohler (USA)

Speciality: Wreck Diving
Time: 18:00-18:45
Website: www.richiekohler.com
Information:
Richie Kohler's passion for technical scuba diving and maritime history has led him to explore some ...of the most challenging shipwrecks in the world, including the Andrea Doria and HMHS Britannic. Searching for lost ships has led him to locate and help identify numerous lost vessels, including the U-215, a German mine laying submarine on the Georges Banks off Nova Scotia, USS Murphy, a WWII destroyer that was crushed and forgotten in the New York approaches, and others. But it would be the identification of a German U-Boat, the U-869 that would catapult his diving career into the world of television and documentary filmmaking.

Erik Wouters (BE)

Speciality: Mine Diving
Time: 14:00-14:45
Website: www.woutererik.be
Information:
Diving means being free. Diving means enjoying. Diving means freeing oneself from the daily routine ...of work and housework. Diving means sunbathing, laughing, having fun in a group. Diving is holiday. Diving is a challenge. It is technique. It is sporty, it requires commitment, energy. Diving leads to addiction. For many it is a hobby and sometimes a hobby gets a bit out of hand. I no longer ask myself the question whether a diving addiction exists. I know that. Diving is always complementary to the blue colour of the Red Sea and the Caribbean. Diving in caves is passion. It is the full attraction. It is the biggest challenge. It is concentration, precision, suffering, giving everything you can. It is hard and often cold. For me it is the essence, so virile, almost transcendent. And that's exactly why it may be cold, or narrow, or it may have poor visibility. Curiosity and discovery here are complementary to cave diving. Searching for adventure, following the path of Theseus (in the labyrinth with the woollen thread of his beloved Ariadne), discovering new places, seeing and doing unimaginable things. It asks a lot of your body and mind. You are more aware of everyday things. It is a piece of searching for antiquity, a piece of geological history. Throughout time, a cave has been something dark everywhere and always. Our Socotranian guide told us that it is still the dwelling place of the spirits. The Mexican cenotes still tell their story about man and faith. Occasionally a secret of a prehistoric animal is revealed. Cave diving is a fantastic story. It is a small niche of diving, with a depth of depth.

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