Stephan Whelan (OS 1996)
The journey started when I was seven or eight years old with a try dive in a pool whilst on holiday with my parents. It very much continued when I joined Sevenoaks and the sub-aqua club run by Peter Ford and Steven Stares back in the early 1990s.
These were my formative years in scuba diving where I went from being a complete novice to an instructor and the genesis of DeeperBlue.com occurred. As I had been diving for six years by the time came to leave Sevenoaks I had a ton of stories (and friends) that I had started writing about, which today we'd all be blogging about. My mum and grandfather had both been journalists so I had been very much inspired by them to write about what I was experiencing in this amazing new world underwater. Whilst I'd been studying computer science, it wasn't until I got to DeMontfort University that I started to learn to code websites and DeeperBlue.com was formally born. Since then we've grown to be one of the largest websites dedicated to all forms of diving and ocean advocacy and conservation.
Conservation and ocean advocacy is a huge part of my diving life from the beginning. 71% of this big, beautiful planet is water. Whilst we know so much about the underwater world, we also know so little and it's been my passion to help educate the world on how to get diving safely and understand what we need to do to protect our amazing seas and oceans. We are unfortunately pouring plastic and chemicals into the oceans, as well as pillaging the seas with mass commercial trawling. I'm keen to get every person comfortable with the water in whichever way they want to, to see what we are doing and become an advocate for the protection of this planet.
What makes this so special is I now have a team of over 200 spanning the globe.
You can hear Stephan talking about his love for diving on Big Deep – An Ocean Podcast