The International Shipwreck Conference

organised by wreck enthusiasts for wreck enthusiasts

Biographies 2

David Mearns

David Mearns is a Director of Blue Water Recoveries (BWR), a leading deep-sea technology firm specialising in the location and investigation of modern and historic shipwrecks. During his 15-year career based in America and Britain he has led the research and discovery of over 45 shipwrecks lost in water depths from 600 to 5,800 metres. His most celebrated finds include Lucona – a cargo ship sunk by a time bomb as part of an Austrian insurance fraud scheme, Derbyshire – a bulk carrier lost with all hands in 1980 that represents the single largest loss in British maritime history, and Esmeralda – an early 16th century Portuguese caravel in the fleet of Vasco da Gama located by BWR 494 years after it sank.

Web - Blue Water Recoveries Ltd

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Garry Momber

On completion of the M.Sc. in Maritime Archaeology at Bangor University in 1990, Garry spent a couple of years at sea as a seismic navigator. This was followed by involvement in marine archaeological projects as a volunteer before becoming a tutor in the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) Training Programme in 1993. During 1994 Garry obtained professional diving qualifications and started work for the Hampshire & Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology (HWTMA), employed on a contractual basis.

Between 1994 and 1997 Garry worked as a NAS Training Officer, HWTMA field Officer and visiting lecturer at both Bristol and Southampton Universities. In 1997 he took the post of full time Archaeological Officer for the HWTMA where Garry was am responsible for the Trust fieldwork and practical training.  Garry also plays an active role alongside the director presenting talks, and representing the Trust on local and national committees.


  • Solent Marine Archaeological Project (SOLMAP): Director
  • Survey of Alum Bay Wreck Site: Director
  • Coastal Change Climate and Instability: EC LIFE Project: Field Officer
  • Itchen River Project HWTMA survey of Intertidal archaeology along the Itchen River in conjunction with Southampton City Archaeology.
  • Investigation of an Ancient Fish Trap in Caernarfon Bay, N. Wales.
  • Topographical Surveys of Menai Straits.
  • Excavation of Rye Barge. Now in Hastings Shipwreck Heritage Centre.
  • Krogen Project, Supervisor; survey of the Severn wreck, Sweden.
  • Manager of Shore Base for SUBMAP: 91 divers surveyed the Resurgam.
  • Bucklers Hard Site Survey and Excavation: Field Officer / Assistant to Director
  • Langstone Harbour Survey and Excavation (submerged landscape): Supervisor
  • Wooton Quarr underwater Survey (submerged landscape): Officer / SupervisorNeedles Underwater Survey of Pomone: Officer / SupervisorCo-ordination of Welsh Projects as NAS Training Officer for Wales
  • Over 30 NAS Part I Courses
  • Over 20 NAS Part II Survey Fieldschools
  • Mulberry Harbour Project: Organiser / Co-ordinator
  • South Wales Marine Archaeological Project: Organiser / Co-ordinator, Survey of intertidal hulks in conjunction with Dyfed Archaeological Trust


  • Gorad Beuno: Investigation of an Ancient Fish Trap in Caernarfon Bay, N. Wales. I.J.N.A. (1991) 20.2:95-109.
  • West Bay Archaeological Assessment: Research & Report
  • New Forest Shoreline Archaeological Assessment: Research & Report
  • Southampton Water EIA: Assessment & Report
  • Nash Bank EIA: Assessment & Report
  • Nab / Owers EIAs: 6 Desk based Assessments & Reports
  • West Solent Shoreline Management Plan: Archaeological assessment & Report
  • Larne Lough EIA: Desk based assessment & Report
  • Submarine Fibre Optic System in Celtic Sea EIA: Interpretation, Assessment & Report
  • NAS Newsletters and HWTMA Annual Reports.
  • Underwater Research and Discovery Conference; Lecturing and organisation.
  • Archaeological Column in Diver Magazine

web - Hants and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology

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Kimberly Monk

Kimberly Monk is director of the Great Lakes Institute for Marine Research (GLIMR) dedicated to documenting and preserving Great Lakes marine heritage. She also serves as co-founder of the Maritime Archaeological Research Initiative (MARI), whose work focuses on shipwreck research in the Upper Florida Keys with the cooperation of the US National Parks Service and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Bristol ; her dissertation entitled: “HMS Hampshire: Anatomy of a 17th Century Royal Navy Frigate.” She holds an MA in maritime history and nautical archaeology from the Program in Maritime Studies at East Carolina University, and a BA in anthropology from the University of Western Ontario.

The Great Lakes contain over 6,000 shipwrecks, ranging in date from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries. The preservative qualities of these cold, freshwater lakes present an opportunity for archaeological research almost unparalleled anywhere else in the world. Only recently, however, have archaeologists endeavored to survey and inventory the extensive material culture submerged throughout this region.

The physical environment of the Great Lakes placed a number of constraints on navigation and vessel design. Although most shipbuilders faced these challenges when constructing lake vessels, none were more aware than those who were in the business of building sailing canal ships, or sailing canallers. Their ingenuity and drive resulted in the sailing canallers that are the chief focus of this presentation.

Welland sailing canallers dominated the seaways between 1846 and 1880. These vessels were built to conform to the dimensions of the second Welland Canal, connecting Lake Ontario to Lake Erie. Although this vessel type was not the only form employed for cargo carriage on the Great Lakes, the great numbers produced and the many locations at which they were manufactured underscore their centrality. It is not an exaggeration to claim that the sailing canaller was the single most important vessel type plying North America's inland seas during the nineteenth century. 

Archaeology has provided a unique opportunity to study the features of three sailing canallers.  Investigations of the Sligo , Bermuda , and China shipwrecks have offered a cross-section of features employed on these vessels. Archival sources provide some information on construction of canal ships but are not exhaustive in architectural schematics and design details.  The adaptation to Welland sailing canal ships, as a result of changing economic times, remains best examined through physical study.

email :

web : Great Lakes Institute for Marine Research

David Moore

David Moore has been involved in maritime history and shipwreck research for over nineteen years, including stints as an underwater archaeologist for the states of North Carolina and Florida.

He has conducted field research on over 100 shipwrecks dating from the 16th to 19th centuries. An alumnus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a B.A. in Environmental Marine Science (May 1980), Moore traveled to Florida in 1983 as an archaeological consultant soon after completing course work for a Master's degree in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology at East Carolina University.

His work in Florida included the structural investigation of the 17th century Spanish galleons Nuestra Senora de Atocha, Santa Margarita, and the San Martin. He directed the first deep-water shipwreck excavation utilizing robotic technology.

As Principle Investigator on the Henrietta Marie Project, his efforts led to the completion of a Master's thesis in 1989 on the historical and archaeological investigations of this significant slave ship site which was instrumental in the development of a major traveling exhibition currently touring the country. Born, raised, and educated in North Carolina, Moore returned to his home state in February 1996 when hired by the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

He began researching the potential for locating Blackbeard’s shipwrecks in 1982 and is helping to direct the excavation of what is thought to be the pirate’s flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge. His research efforts into the historical background of North Carolina’s most infamous pirate are also the focal point of a Ph.D. dissertation through King’s College London.

email :

web : Queen Anne's Revenge

Steve Mortimer

Steve Mortimer's happiest on Saturday mornings when he sets off with friends for a weekend's diving on unknown shipwrecks off the South West coasts. A diver for 20 years, Steve has used mixed gases since 1995 and currently dives an Inspiration Vision rebreather when he can't get away with his trusty open circuit equipment.


email :

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Atilio Nasti

Atilio Nasti graduated in Anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires in 1986 and has been a Doctor in Archaeology since 1991. For ten years he carried out a regional investigation of vertebrate taphonomy in the Puna of Atacama Region as a Scientific Researcher in the National Anthropological Institute with financial support from the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research. 

Atilio has also worked as a Forensic Research specialist for the Court and Police Department. Since 1999 he has been Scientific Director of the Maldonado Underwater Archaeological Project working with Oxford University MARE (Maritime Archaeological Research) and the Isla de Lobos Project in Punta del Este, Uruguay.


  • 2001 - Spanish Troopship Salvador. www.nordic underwater
  • 2001 - . H.M.S Agamemnon.
  • 2001 - Elementos de cuero rescatado del navío español Salvador.
  • 2001 - Recovery and conservation of navigational instruments from the Spanish troopship Salvador which sank in 1812 in Maldonado Bay, Punta del Este, Uruguay. The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 30.2:279-281
  • 2002 – Arqueología Subacuatica en las Cercanías a la Isla de Lobos.

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Mike O'Meara

Mike O’Meara has a long and successful involvement in the subsea world.  He started his career in the Royal Navy, and after training as a clearance diver was involved in a variety of naval diving operations before leaving the RN in 1975. He continued diving for a number of commercial diving companies before joining the newly formed Wharton Williams in 1978 as a diving superintendent.  In this capacity Mike was responsible for the offshore management of diving support vessels and project teams and the implementation of subsea projects in the North Sea , Middle East and Asia . These projects involved a range of commercial diving techniques including air, gas, saturation and lockout submarines. After 23 years as an Offshore Manager in 1991 Mike was tasked with reviewing the Cullen report and the impending UK Safety Case Regulations following the Piper “A” disaster.  The outcome of this work was the formal introduction to the company of risk identification and assessment as a specific planning tool in support of safe operations.

Through the years many changes in company ownership and structure have taken place. These have involved the following leading subsea engineering and construction companies:, Wharton Williams, Brown & Root, Rockwater, Subsea Offshore, Halliburton Subsea and DSND into the present day Subsea 7.  Mike is Vice President responsible for Health, Safety Environmental and Quality Strategy for Subsea 7. In 1981 he was the Wharton Williams Diving Superintendent responsible for the successful salvage of £40 million pounds of gold bullion from the Second World War British cruiser HMS Edinburgh resting in 800 feet water depth in the Barents Sea.

email - Mike.O' 

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Neville Oldham

Born in Cheshire in 1935 and spent his formative years on a farm. In 1953 joined the Grenadier Guards. He first started diving in 1956 whilst serving as Assault Pioneer Sergeant during the Suez Crisis when on attachment to 45 Commando attending a minefield and demolition course.

On leaving the Guards went into the construction industry. To continue diving, joined East Lancashire BSAC and with their help founded the East Cheshire BSAC holding the posts of Chairman, Training Officer and Secretary. In 1979 the Club made him an Honorary Life Member. In 1983 attained his commercial divers’ ticket.

1982 was an eventful year for him. At the beginning of the year along with members of the East Cheshire Club, he was involved with locating parts of the Penlee Life boat. Also moved to Devon where he started a Dive boat Charter business at Hope Cove and joined the Nautical Archaeology Society SW, serving on the committee as Secretary and Chairman as well as a member of NAS national committee and also became a NAS part I instructor.

In 1983 he formed the Bigbury bay investigation team looking for historical wrecks in the SW and in 1989 they were joined by members of Northampton and other Midlands BSAC and formed the South West Marine Archaeology Group with whom they have been fortunate to have located several of South Devon’s premier Historic wrecks sites. Erme Ingot site 1000 B.C (for which they won the BSAC Duke of Edinburgh’s Jubilee Prize,) Erme Estuary Cannon site 1632, the Salcombe Cannon site 1635 and Salcombe B Bronze Age site 3000 B.C. These are now all protected Historic wreck sites.

He is also the Licensee of the Moor Sands Historic site 3000 B.C. Other projects that he is involved with are the investigation of HMS Venerable 1804, The Gossamer 1868, Chanteloupe 1772, San Pedro El Mayor 1588 and the Dartmouth Cannon site 1577.

Now aged 71 he has been involved in diving for 50 years and is still diving regularly.

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Ian Oxley

After beginning his archaeological career as a digger in the late Seventies, Ian Oxley learnt to dive and joined the Mary Rose project as diving Finds Assistant. >Following the excavation and recovery of the Tudor warship he specialised in shipwreck environmental archaeology, progressing to become the Trust’s Archaeological Scientist. He has held many voluntary offices in societies such as the Institute of Field Archaeologists and helped develop the Nautical Archaeology Society Training Programme. Moving to St Andrews in 1988 to spend ten years with the Archaeological Diving Unit he set up and directed the voluntary Maritime Fife project. After embarking on research into the management of historic shipwreck sites in Scotland at Heriot-Watt University, he joined Historic Scotland as an Assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments before moving to English Heritage as Head of Maritime Archaeology.

The National Heritage Act (NHA 2002) corrected an anomaly in the way archaeology was managed in England and gave responsibility to English Heritage for maritime archaeology to the 12nm Territorial Limit.Prior to the Act English Heritage published its initial policy on maritime archaeology Taking to the Water (Roberts & Trow 2002) which discussed the broad characteristics of the maritime archaeological resource in English territorial waters, the character of inventories of marine archaeological sites and the role and relationships of professional maritime archaeologists, amateur maritime archaeologists, recreational divers, and other sea users.The policy also outlined how English Heritage could fulfil its new obligations to better understand and manage the maritime archaeological resource.

Understanding and managing the non-renewable resource maritime archaeological resource poses a wide variety of challenges and this presentation will describe the work that is underway in identifying and protecting significant sites, and in raising the awareness of other sea users and the wider community about England’s submerged historic environment and its potential.


Roberts, P. & S. Trow, 2002, Taking to the Water: English Heritage’s Initial Policy for the Management of Maritime Archaeology in England. English Heritage, London. Downloadable from on Archaeology > Our Work > Maritime Archaeology > link to .pdf).  

Web - English Heritage

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Paola Palma

Paola Palma is a Research Fellow in Bournemouth University working on the English Heritage funded Shipwreck Importance project and the environmental monitoring of the Swash Channel Protected Wreck Site.

She graduated at Ca' Foscari University in Venice and gained an MA in Maritime Archaeology at Southampton University. Her first degree thesis was research carried out on the investigation of the II Century Roman wreck in Genoa-Pegli, originally excavated by Professor Nino Lamboglia. This was followed by work throughout Italy, mainly on Roman Shipwrecks (for example the Marble Column Wreck in Tuscany, Iulia Felix in NE Italy). On moving to England she undertook her MA research on the place of the Cog within the maritime and cultural transmission of Medieval Europe, the cog in Italian medieval sources and the Jungfrusckar Cog in Sweden.

On completing her MA Paola worked for the Nautical Archaeology Society and the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology before moving to the Mary Rose Trust to work initially on the Fiskerton Logboat (circa 500 BC) before she took on responsibility for the scientific aspects of the EU funded Monitoring of Shipwreck Sites (MoSS) Project where she worked on environmental threats to and in situ monitoring of shipwreck sites. Later she undertook environmental monitoring of the Mary Rose site were her work discovered important indicators of changes within British Coastal waters caused by global warming. Her work on the MoSS project was recently nominated for the Keith Muckelroy Award.

She is a Member of the Institute if Field Archaeologists, one of the co-organisers of both the MAG conferences and co-author of their proceedings.


Dave Parham

Dave Parham is a Senior Lecture in Marine Archaeology at Bournemouth University. A graduate of the University of Wales, Bangor and Southampton University he learnt to dive at the age of 15 because of a consuming interest in shipwrecks and has worked throughout the UK, the Baltic, Eastern Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. He has worked for the Alderney Elizabethan Shipwreck Project (about which he spoke at the International Shipwreck Conference in 1996) the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology, the Nautical Archaeology Society, Southampton University and Wessex Archaeology. He is a former Council Member for the Institute of Field Archaeologists and former Chair of its Maritime Affairs Group.

Dave designed and he is Program Leader for Bournemouth University's BSc Marine Archaeology Program and Co-director of its Centre for Marine and Coastal Archaeology. He is the currently directing research on almost 30% of England's Protected Wreck Sites and the archaeological advisor for both Neville Oldham and the South West Maritime Archaeological Group.


Jon Parlour

Jon has been diving and involved in underwater projects, both at work and for fun, for more than 40 years. Initially inspired by Cousteau, Hass and Sea Hunt, Jon went on to dive with the Royal Navy, police and several other diving organisations. During that time he has experienced diving in many different environments, undertaking a wide range a tasks.

Jon is also a diving instructor with BSAC, PADI and DAN. A member of the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) since 1990, Jon has worked on a number of underwater and terrestrial sites in the UK and Northern Europe. He is a NAS Tutor and previously the coordinator for the South West Region. In 2004, Jon completed a four year appointment as a member of the Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites.

At a local level Jon has been involved for many years recording and raising awareness of the sites of Die Frau Metta Catherina Von Flensberg (1786), in Plymouth Sound, and HMS Coronation (1691), off Penlee Point.

He is currently employed as a member of the training team at the Diving Diseases Research Centre in Plymouth.

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Elena Perez-Alvaro

Elena Perez-Alvaro is a PhD candidate in Underwater Cultural Heritage at University of Birmingham, UK. She holds an undergraduate degree in History of Art and a MSc in Heritage and Museum Studies at University of Portsmouth, UK. In addition, she has studied a Masters Research Degree at University of Cambridge, UK, being the title of her dissertation “Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage in Spain”. She has been speaker at conferences such as Cantabria Campus Nobel in Cantabria (Spain) for brilliant researchers, Colloque Association Internationale du Droit de la Mer, La Coruna (Spain), International Congress Law of the Sea and Environmental Sustainability in the Mediterranean, Valencia (Spain), the Geography of Leisure and Tourism Research Colloquium, Surrey (UK) or I Congress of Underwater Archaeology, Cartagena (Spain). She is also the author of numerous scientific articles like Legal Threats to Underwater Cultural Heritage (Rosetta Journal) and chapters Shipwrecks as Watery Graves (Tirant Lo Blanch)

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Michael Pitts

Michael Pitts is an ex-Army helicopter technician who transferred to the Royal Marines.  Michael left the Marines and then worked in Israel from age of 23 using a housed Super-8 camera to film the underwater world. Michael completed an HSE Part 1 at Fort Bovisand aged 28 then worked offshore as an inspection diver in the North Sea , Persian Gulf and off Nigeria. Michael is a qualified Diver Medic, Trimix & Rebreather Diver.

Michael started filming around the rigs off Nigeria with a 16mm Airflex camera for Anglia TV and has worked on the TV programmes Private Life of Plants, Walking with Dinosaurs, Walking with Beasts, The Blue Planet and numerous other projects.

Michael is mostly interested in diving in the Pacific Ocean

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Martin Read

Martin Read was born in Surrey and brought up in Middlesex, Durham & Plymouth.  Martin has a degree in Archaeological Conservation from the University of Wales. Worked as a conservator in various archaeology organisations in Britain such as English Heritage, the Mary Rose Trust and York  Archaeological Trust and with the British Institute of Archaeology in Turkey.

Returned to Plymouth in 1989 to take an HND in Computer Studies & an MSc in Intelligent Systems. Works full-time as a System Analyst/Programmer and Database designer and lectures part-time in Nautical Archaeology in the University of Plymouth.

At present Martin is researching into Maritime Industries such as rope making and sites such as the Cattewater wreck, as well as supervising student projects including a hulk survey of the Tamar-Plym-Yealm system and the wreck of the SS James Eagan Layne.

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John Riley

Born in Halifax last century. Started diving in 1966 with the RAF in Cyprus. Moved to Australia in 1972 and became interested in shipwrecks. Main interest is early marine steam engineering and iron and steel shipwreck formation processes. Has developed many technique to record sites to depths of 100 metres. Author of The Waterline Theory 1984. Led many expeditions to discover and record wrecks in Australia. Shipwreck Deterioration Consultant to all States in Australia and overseas. Team member on AE2 in Turkey with the role of positive identification, condition assessment and constructing a model of the site for the major sponsor.

Recently retired from the Security Industry and is on a round world trip to check out the shipwreck scene. Thinks that Maritime Archaeology is not Rocket Science as many would try to make it. Still dive to depths over 60 metres and think the best shipwreck is always the last one I found.

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Brendon Rowe

Based in Cornwall, Brendon has worked as an electrical engineer since leaving school in 1989. After learning to dive in 1995 with BSAC branch Peninsula Sub Aqua Club he has held most positions on the committee and is currently Chairman. A very active instructor with the branch he also teaches specialist diving related courses for the Kernow Association of Sub Aqua Clubs.

Brendon was instrumental in the founding of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Maritime Archaeology Society. A committee member of CISMAS, he acts as diving supervisor for the group’s expeditions. He has been involved in a number of archaeological projects involving historical research, geophysical surveys and underwater searches and surveys, most recently on the debris field of HMS Colossus (1787-1798). Other interests include underwater video and digital photography.



David J.B. Smith

David J.B. Smith is a military author and Naval researcher with a specific interest in the Royal Navy of World War Two. A month after his first non-fiction book 'Being Silent They Speak: The Story of a Submarine' was published it marched straight to No1 in the World War Two genre as a Kindle eBook.

Joining the Senior Service as a RADAR operator at the age of 17 years, David went on to enjoy a full and varied 23-year Royal Navy career. David retired from service life in 2009 as a Chief Petty Officer (Seaman), and now lives and writes non-fiction military books in a quiet quayside village in Devon, England.


Smith, David (2012). Being Silent They Speak: The Story of a WWII Submarine Unbeaten. Plymouth: Stand Easy. ISBN 978-0-9573925-1-9

Smith, David (2015) Surcouf Revisited. Plymouth: Stand Easy ISBN 978-0-9573925-3-3


web: &

Simon Spooner

Dr. Spooner is founder and President of the Anglo~Danish Maritime Archaeological Team (ADMAT), a non-profit organization working on the preservation of historic shipwrecks in the Caribbean. He has directed numerous excavations and surveys including, the White House Bay Wreck (1780s), La Viette (1802), Faience Wreck (1760), Le Casimir (1829), Carron Wreck (1802) Tile Wreck (1690) Musket Ball Wreck (1790) and the survey for Santiago (1582) and the lost 1563 Spanish Fleet 

Dr. Spooner is founder and President of the Anglo~Danish Maritime Archaeological Team (ADMAT), a non-profit organization working on the preservation of historic shipwrecks in the Caribbean. He has directed numerous excavations and surveys including, the >White House Bay Wreck (1780s), La Viette Wreck (1760), Le Casimir (1829), Carron Wreck (1802) Tile Wreck (1690) Musket Ball Wreck (1790) and the survey for Santiago (1582) and the lost 1563 Spanish Fleet.

Dr. Spooner's doctorial thesis was entitled “Maritime Taphonomy – A study of historic shipwreck formation process on the north coast of the Dominican Republic from 1563 to 1829”. He holds a BSc and is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, as well as being appointed to Institute of Field Archaeologists at the highest Member level. Dr. Spooner is a member of the Council for British Archaeology as well as the Nautical Archaeological Society.

Dr. Spooner is a well known lecturer in Maritime Archaeology. He has taught PhD Students from NOVA Southeastern University in the field, whilst in the Dominican Republic. He currently is a visiting  lecturer to MA maritime archaeological students at the University of Bristol.  He has spoken at numerous conferences on the issue of the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, from as far a field as New Orleans to Cartagena. During his holidays he lectures on Maritime Archaeology on the Seabourn Pride, Seabourn Legend and Seabourn Spirit as well as the QE2 and QM2 cruise ships.

For the last two decades he has been teaching divers and students. In 1991 he was appointed Advanced Instructor with the British Sub Aqua Club, as well as being a senior instructor with PADI and holding a 3 Star CMAS instructor ticket. Having dived all over the world he has now made over 8,500 dives, with thousands of hours spent underwater conducting archaeology. Dr. Spooner also is one of a very few archaeologists in the world who have a pilots license for the Oceaneering Hydra Magnum Commercial ROV. He is a protector of maritime archaeological sites in the Caribbean, fighting against looting, treasure hunters as well as advising governments on how to protect their underwater cultural heritage.

Web - Anglo~Danish Maritime Archaeological Team

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Greg Stemm

Gregory P. Stemm has served as Vice President, Research and Operations and as a member of the Board of Directors since December 1995. Prior to that, he served as an officer and director of Seahawk Deep Ocean Technology from the time he co-founded the company in 1989 until January, 1994.  As a principal of Seahawk, Stemm was involved in directing research and technology for the company, which resulted in locating two Spanish Colonial shipwrecks in depths greater than 1,000 feet. He was also responsible for directing the archaeological team and operations that accomplished the world's first remote archaeological excavation, in a depth of 1,500 feet southwest of the Florida Keys.

Greg has written articles on the ethics and future of deep ocean shipwreck exploration and archaeological excavation, and has given over 100 lectures on the subject at the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, World President's Organization, Young Entrepreneur's Organization and before other groups. He was also named a panelist on Shipwreck Ethics at the 1998 Law of the Sea Institute.

Greg is on the Advisory Board of Ocean News and Technology Magazine, and is currently President, and a founding Board Member, of the Professional Shipwreck Explorers Association (ProSEA). ProSEA is a non-profit trade association that provides a forum through which salvors, archaeologists and government entities work together to promote a high standard of ethics and principals in dealing with deep sea shipwreck resources.

In addition, Stemm is a member of MENSA, The Society for Historical Archaeology, The Society for American Archaeology, and a founder of the Florida Aquarium. Since 1985, he has been an officer and director of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization (YEO) , an exclusive group of founders of companies throughout the world. The organization consists of over 1,000 members, with an average age of 29 and annual sales in excess of $10,000,000. Greg served as International President of the organization in 1993, and guided the organization to its first year in the black. He was also a founder of the Tampa Bay chapter, and Mexico City chapters of YEO, and was responsible for forming the organization's first "Forum", as well the first official World President's Organization Mentor program.

Last year, Stemm was appointed to the International Board of Directors of the World Entrepreneurs Organization, and is active in the activities of that group. Prior to his involvement with Seahawk, Stemm was co-founder and a partner in DeFrain-Stemm Advertising, a full service advertising agency which included clients such as Trammell Crow Real estate, NCNB National Bank, Hyatt Hotels and may other tourism and real-estate-oriented businesses. Greg was responsible for all strategic planning and marketing for clients of the agency.

web - Odyssey Marine Exploration

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Robert Sténuit

Robert Pierre André Sténuit, a former cave diver and the test diver who made at sea the first ever experimental, deep water saturation dives (on heliox), has for many years been devoting his full time to maritime history and underwater archaeology. In 1970 he founded the 'Groupe de Recherche Archéologique Sous-Marine Post Médiévale' (GRASP) which he has directed since, together with his daughter, the archaeologist Marie-Eve Sténuit. GRASP has devoted their activities to the search for, the survey and the excavation of the wrecks of these ships the traffic of which constituted the great inter-oceanic commercial currents that followed the 15th and 16th century geographical discoveries in Africa, the Americas and Asia. On the one hand the ships include the wrecks of Portuguese naús and carracks of the Carreira da India and of the galleons and naos of the Spanish Carrera de Indias which, for three centuries, did import in Europe not only the riches and goods of the West Indies, the Americas and Asia, but also the knowledge of their exotic cultures. And, on the other hand, the wrecks of the ships of the East India companies (English, Dutch, French, Danish, Swedish, of Ostende, of Trieste etc.) which simultaneously were re-exporting to Asia the larger part of the riches that had come from the West, together with Europe's own produce, in exchange for which they would in turn bring back home the riches and produce of the Orient. 

Under the direction of Robert and Marie-Eve Sténuit, the members of GRASP have located, excavated and published the wrecks of 17 ancient merchant vessels. In addition a number of warships whose guns were keeping open the great commercial lanes of the four oceans. In its 35 years GRASP has discovered, surveyed, excavated and published the wrecks of the following ships: 

  • Frigate Wendela, Danish Asiatic Company, 1737, Fetlar, Shetland 
  • Flute Lastdrager, V.O.C., 1653, Yell, Shetland 
  • Slot ter Hooge, V.O.C., 1724, Porto Santo, Madeira 
  • Witte Leeuw, V.O.C., 1613, St Helena, South Atlantic 
  • De Boot, V.O.C., 1738, South Devon, UK 
  • Winterton, E.E.I.C., 1792, Salary, Madagascar 
  • Saint Jean Baptiste, French East India Company, Banc de l'Etoile, Madagascar 
  • Steamer Mei-Kong, 1877, Somalia 
  • Nao Nuestra Señora de la Asumpción Y Las Animas, 1681, Carrera de Indias, Panama 
  • Galleass Girona, Invincible Armada, 1588, Northern Ireland 
  • Frigate Athénienne, RN, 1806, Esquerquiz, Mediterranean 
  • Cutter Sprightly, RN, 1777, Guernsey 
  • Curacao, Admiraliteit Amsterdam, 1729, Unst, Shetland 
  • Pink Evstaffi, Russian Imperial Navy, 1780, Griff Skerry, Shetland 
  • Frigate Thetis, RN, 1830, Cabo Frio, Brazil 
  • Naú Nossa Senhora Do Monte Do Carmo, Royal Portuguese Navy, 1775, Salary, Madagascar 

Robert and Marie-Eve Sténuit are Belgian and are based in Brussels.

Professor Robert Stone

Robert (Bob) Stone holds a Chair in Interactive Multimedia Systems within the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham, where he is also Director of the Human Interface Technologies (HIT) Team. He graduated from University College London in 1979 with a BSc in Psychology, and in 1981 with an MSc in Ergonomics. Bob also currently holds the position of Visiting Professor in Simulation Psychology within the University of Plymouth. One of the first Europeans to experience the NASA VIEW Virtual Reality (VR) system in 1987, and having established the first industrial VR team at the UK’s National Advanced Robotics Centre, following an appearance on the BBC’s 9 O’Clock News in January, 1993, he brought together (initially) 12 companies to fund the world’s first industrial collaborative project addressing the commercial applications of VR. In May 1996, Bob was elected to become an Academician of the Russian International Higher Education Academy of Sciences in Moscow and was, in 2000, accredited by General Klimuk, Director of Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre as responsible for “introducing VR into the cosmonaut space programme”. Bob and his team adopt a very pragmatic approach to research, particularly in the defence, healthcare and heritage sectors and they regularly spend time conducting studies in the field alongside subject matter experts. This approach has taken Bob from Royal Navy vessels conducting close-range weapons and missile trials to underwater operations onboard submarines and rescue submersibles; from oil and gas support platforms in the North Sea to remotely operated vehicle trials in the waters around Scotland; and from search-and-rescue helicopters over the mountains and coasts of Wales and Cornwall to operating theatres and medical units throughout the UK, US and South Africa. Bob and his Team have received numerous awards, including, uniquely, three from the Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors, and, in 2011, the MoD Chief Scientific Advisor’s Commendation for contributions to Defence Science & Technology. A born and bred Plymothian, he regularly brings his team to the region in order to undertake projects exploiting Virtual and Augmented Reality and new drone technologies in support of digital heritage projects.

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Jim Tyson

Jim Tyson was born in Glasgow and started working life in the ship auxiliaries industry in the north-east as a professional mechanical engineer.  Over the years, work has gradually moved him further south, but now Jim is settled in Market Harborough which is about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK.  Jim's diving career started in 1975 with Northampton BSAC Branch No.13 and he is still an active member!.

Original idea was just to get some training to do holiday diving in Malta (did not like the idea of cold, murky British waters), but he came back fully enthused with wreck diving and history - never stopped, and now he only ever dive in the UK waters.  Early days were spent on the classic steel wrecks around Cornwall and the Isle of Mull.

Jim soon got involved in historical project diving; HMS Primrose (c.1809) wrecked on the Manacles, Cornwall, the VOC ship Campen (c.1627) wrecked on the Needles, Isle of Wight and HMS Halsewell (c1868) wrecked at Swanage, South Dorset as well as an Armada wreck searched for in the Firth of Clyde - but not found yet!

Since 1991 Jim has been diving in South Devon and was one of the founder members of the 'South West Archaeological Group'. The team has been fully committed to diving in South Devon with the following successes; 

  • Erme Estuary Site - designated 1991
  • Tin Ingot Site - designated in 1993, the team was awarded the 'Duke of Edinburgh Gold Prize' in November 1993.  Oak timbers found on the site were carbon dated to 6300BP (over 4000 yrs old).
  • Salcombe Cannon Site - 1995 and still actively dived.  Successes include designation in 1997, a press release at the British Museum in November 1997 and a further press release of Bronze Age finds in March 2005

Jim has always had a great passion for diving and discovering 'history from the sea' and feel that the British coastline has the most to offer any diver who seeks it.

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Sarah Ward

Having completed both an MBA and MA in Maritime Archaeology, Sarah is responsible for ‘research and development’ for the Nautical Archaeology Society. Sarah’s objectives are two-fold:

  • to increase the profile of the NAS,
  • and the development of both the NAS training syllabus and archaeological projects that use and improve the skills of NAS Members, but that still have firm research outcomes.

Sarah is licensee of the two Coronation protected wreck sites in the UK, has contributed to numerous TV archaeology programmes, and has research interests that include shipbuilding and social relations in South and East Asia, the use of GIS in maritime archaeology and the management and marketing of underwater cultural heritage. Prior to formally pursuing her interest in archaeology, Sarah spent 12 years in the finance sector, managing a multi-million dollar lending portfolio, the marketing function for a range of organizations including a global investment bank, and was engaged to set up the finance arm of a marketing and management consultancy. Sarah has been based in the UK since 2004.




Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Wolverhampton. He has published extensively on the law relating to the foreshore and seabed and underwater cultural heritage. He advises government departments and agencies both in the UK and abroad and is retained as an advisor to the Crown Estate on foreshore and seabed matters. He recently acted as Project Manager for English Heritage’s review of the legal structure relating to marine archaeology. Mike has commercial and recreational diving qualifications and dives with the South West Maritime Archaeological Group. He sits on the Joint Nautical Archaeological Policy Committee, is a trustee of the Resurgam Trust and Honorary Secretary of the Nautical Archaeology Society.

Mike Williams will discuss the legal disputes that followed the loss of the Schiller, both at the Board of Trade wreck inquiry and in the Court of Appeal over allegations of misuse of distress signals and disputed claims for salvage respectively.



The conference is organised by members of the International Maritime Archaeology and Shipwreck Society as a forum for divers, explorers and shipwreck enthusiasts.