Introducing The Blue Dive Team
At the heart of Blue Dive are your friendly and expert hosts; Dave Wilkinson, Haylie Bennett, Seb Lovera, Seb Filion, Georgia Fowler, Michael Sausman, Mark Fraenkel and Jorg Van Santvliet
At Blue Dive we are proudly involved in several campaigns to defend our marvellous Great Barrier Reef
See this great little Earth Hour video:
Our unrivalled international team of experienced and professional instructors hail from Australia, the UK, Canada and Belgium.
Dave Wilkinson, from Melbourne, runs many of our private dive charters and land based wildlife tours and also helps run the Blue Dive office. Georgia works in occupational health but does occasional dive trips for Blue Dive.
Haylie, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, comes from Sydney. She has helped train up many excellent divemasters in her previous work with Abyss Scuba Diving in Sydney.
She loves working with both new and experienced divers. She was also a voluntereer on a turtle conservation project in Uruguay. Prevoiusly , Haylie was a high school teacher. She takes great underwater videos and photos too!
Seb Lovera is from the UK and holds the Master Scuba Diver Trainer rating with PADI. He spent several years working in scuba diving in the Egyptian Red Sea before moving to Australia.
He prevouiulsy worked as a ski instructor in Japan. Back in the UK he worked a a Comminity Care worker with children and adults with severe psychological and physcial disabilities.
Seb speaks English and Spanish.
Seb Filion is a French Canadian from Quebec with the PADI staff instructor rating. He has worked in the scuba diving world in many parts of Australia and back in Canada.
He is a Digital Underwater Photography Speciality Instructor. Seb speaks French and English.
Michael originally learned to dive through BSAC in the UK; his business career tended to get in the way of his diving but a posting to Australia gave him the chance to really get to know Asia Pacific waters.
When based in Singapore, Michael rediscovered his love for deep wreck diving and became a PADI and TDI instructor.
Thousands of dives, all over the world, later, Michael is a PADI staff instructor, a TDI decompression procedures instructor and as a certified trimix diver and rebreather diver, understands that safety and fun can mix together.
PADI Course Director Glen Docherty has been diving for over 20 years and has certified over 1,000 divers. He has worked as a dive instructor in many countries including Australia, Egypt, Bermuda, Turkey and New Zealand.
With a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology, Glen’s particular interests are teaching people about the spectacular marine life seen whilst diving and underwater videography.
All members of the team have an unrivalled knowledge of the outer reefs off-shore from Port Douglas – and are happy to share their knowledge with you.
Mark Fraenkel (owner / operator)
Master Scuba Diver Trainer PADI 625299
Extended Range qualification with Technical Diving International
Blue Card 854024/1
Mark has worked as a diving instructor in the Egyptian Red Sea and on the Great Barrier Reef and has dived extensively around Australia including Tasmania, the UK and many other parts of the world.
Red Sea 1999-2008
Mark worked for Ocean College in Sharm el Sheikh and also managed the Bedouin-owned Sharks Bay Diving Village on the Sinai Peninsula and ran numerous trips to the southern Red Sea towards the border with Sudan.
He was the Projects and Marketing Manager for the multi award winning Red Sea Diving College, Egypt. Under his direction the College won the Dive Centre of the Year 2007 and 2008.
In 2007 the College was one of the few dive operations to win the Project Aware Environmental Achievement Award. This award was given in recognition of numerous environmental projects organised by Mark including underwater clean-ups and Mark worked very closely with the directors of the Ras Mohammed Red Sea protected area (the equivalent of GBRMPA on the barrier reef)
In 2008 he moved to Port Douglas to be close to the best parts of the Great Barrier Reef – and established Blue Dive. He has been visiting Australia since the early 1980s.
Mark hails from London and has a Bachelors Degree in Politics and Modern History from Manchester University. He did have a career in the UK civil service as a project manager before he became a diving professional in 1999. He tells us that it was a great move and that “I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up”.
Despite his London background, Mark is related to Australian WW1 General Sir General Monash – of German-Jewish extraction, who fought at Gallipoli and was central to establishing Anzac Day after the war.
Sir John Monash appears on the Australian $100 note…
Jorg Van Santvliet (owner / operator)
Master Scuba Diver Trainer PADI 966544 Commercial skippers licence, Cairns, Australia.
Jorg’s extensive professional diving career has taken him around Australia a country that has become his home after leaving Belgium with his wife in 2005.
He worked as a dive guide on the famous Yongala wreck off Townsville before becoming the head engineer and diving supervisor/instructor on the excellent dive boat Poseidon in Port Douglas, a position he held for 5 years before he teamed up with Blue Dive.
He achieved his commercial skippers licence in 2009.
He has an incredible knowledge of the local reefs which means you’ll get to all the hidden areas that few know of.
Jorg also is the qualified Aqualung service technician for Blue Dive – ensuring all equipment is serviced every 6 months and is kept in tip-top condition.
In Belgium, Jorg was the technical advisor to Mercedes Benz and has a Higher Degree in Engineering from Antwerp University.
Attracted by the Barrier Reef he moved to Australia in 2005 and never looked back.
Jorg teamed up with Blue Dive in 2011 and has been central to helping establish Blue Dive as the Premier Dive Centre of Port Douglas.
And he and his lovely wife Heidi are now proud Australian citizens.