The complete diving and snorkelling experience, staffed by passionate and knowledgeable divers and snorkellers
Aquanaut is a dive community. We strive to provide the best advice and standards on all matters diving and snorkelling – from kit to training and holidays
We are a PADI 5* IDC Centre
As a PADI 5* Centre we are known to deliver exceptional quality training. We aim to provide flexibility in scheduling to meet the demands of today’s busy lifestyles.
We are also a PADI Approved Youth Training Centre, meaning we meet the highest standards for running programs for families, Schools and Youth Groups.
Fun, knowledge, service, dynamic, patient, sociable and experienced. These are just a few words our customers have used to describe us – visit us and see what you think. Ultimately we put the customer first and we do our best to give the right advice to everyone who walks through the door or contacts us by phone, email, Facebook etc.
Aquanaut is the scuba diving and snorkelling centre with the personal touch. Whether you are interested in purchasing scuba or snorkelling kit, learning to dive, developing your diving experience, maintaining your equipment or having fun actually going diving, the Aquanaut Team can advise and identify the right solution for you.
We are not a centre that concentrates purely on volume, our focus is on delivering a highly knowledgeable, quality, personal service, giving you the right advice to help you make the right purchasing and training decisions to reach your ultimate in-water goals.
Aquanaut is a family business and has been helping people realise their underwater dreams and ambitions for over 15 years. We have succeeded due to an amazing team of enthusiastic instructors and shop staff who all share the passion for exploring the oceans.
Interactive 360° Shop Tour
Click and drag your mouse to move around the rooms of our shop, check out our range of equipment, drysuit shop and exterior!
Meet the Team
This section is continually evolving as we persuade instructors to provide us with their pictures and share their diving stories, but here is what we have so far! Click on the photo to discover more about each team member….
Lynne Clafton | Master Instructor
Lynne The Boss! As the magnet behind the shop counter says: ‘Would you like to speak to the man who thinks he’s in charge, or the woman who actually knows what’s happening?
Lynne has been a diver for more years than she will probably admit to. The love of diving took over to the extent of not just qualifying as a PADI Master Instructor, but also changing life the Universe and everything, giving up a very sensible job in town … to buy a dive centre!
Now she justifiably has the opportunity to talk diving, live diving and even occasionally go diving.
Ian Clafton | Assistant Instructor
Ok, not the best photo, but the only one we managed to get without inappropriate gestures being offered!
Ian is the genius of the service centre and salesman extraordinaire. Ian has been the real visionary for the evolution of Aquanaut, and has endless plans for the future as well.
There is very little that he doesn’t know about dive equipment and does occasionally jump in the water and dive himself.
Mehdi Zinetti | Master Scuba Diver Trainer
‘French Man in a Box’ arrived at Aquanaut after working overseas including Indonesia. His passion for the extreme has led him into cave diving, mine diving, experimenting with full face mask, sidemount and any other variations on a theme.
Despite his attraction to to the ultimate, Mehdi loves to work with divers from the most basic beginner upwards. The most satisfying experience for an instructor is achieving that first smile from a new student under water. Check out his iDiveYou page to see what other divers think.
Along with Ian, Mehdi is the co-founder of Tec Monsters a new technical diving company offering the best bespoke tec courses in South London.
Matt Noel | IDC Staff Instructor
Matt first learned to dive in Grand Cayman just after his 12th birthday in 1998 (yes he is that old). Since then he has dived all over the world including Tenerife, Thailand and the Philippines.
Having never dived in the UK previously Matt took the leap to become an Instructor with us in 2011. After taking a 5 year break from UK waters, instructing in Bermuda, he’s back with the team at Aquanaut.
Having climbed the instructor ladder to Staff instructor his passion is still taking new divers for their first breaths under water and seeing that look of amazement on new divers faces when they first start moving around underwater.
Steve Marshall | Master Instructor
Steve is passionate about teaching people to dive from the novice diver who first steps into the underwater world through to Instructor level.
He has dived all over the UK plus Australia and particularly enjoys diving with the larger fish of this world.
He is committed to ensuring your safety and enjoyment when you dive with him and tries to make it as fun as possible
Martin Edser | Master Scuba Diver Trainer
I took up diving later in life and every time I go underwater I am still amazed at what I had missed all those years. I dive as much as I can now to make up. I am now a PADI MSDT and working my way up the technical ladder. I am a keen underwater photographer and I enjoy all types of diving – a fan of UK diving as well as the warm clear waters. Nearly all my courses have been through Aquanauts and there have been some great instructors on the way. I still think there is nothing more satisfying then seeing the grin on a new Open Water Scuba Diver’s face and hope that you have inspired them to a long diving future!
Paul Searle | Master Scuba Diver Trainer
I took up diving in 2008 after stumbling across a dive centre in Egypt run by some very enthusiastic Germans. Gave it a go and fell in love instantly with diving and the culture that surrounds it. I love tavelling anyway but being a diver gives me another way of enjoying holiday locations from an angle that not everyone gets to see.
The idea of teaching finally got the better of me and in 2013 I took the dive (had to say it) and became an instructor. I get a real thrill on teaching people of all ages and abilities to realise a dream of becoming a diver. Perhaps my greatest joy from teaching however comes from watching people grow in confidence as they often realise diving is not as difficult as they once thought.
Dan Mills | IDC Staff Instructor
I completed my PADI open water in 2005 and absolutely loved it so I continued diving on my holidays and took the standard route of Advanced Open Water, Rescue and eventually Divemaster.
I really want to run my own dive centre in the sunshine one day, so I completed my instructor qualifications with Aquanauts in 2014 and have since progressed to Staff Instructor.
I hope I can be as inspirational to new divers as my first instructor – Kevin Russell. He is all the things a good instructor should be: encouraging, patient, an ambassador for the sport and a great laugh.
SCUBA diving is only for those who like being with friendly, helpful, interested and interesting people and who don’t mind becoming enthralled with marine life, wrecks, caves, ice or whatever, feeling weightless and free. And of course those who like an occasional pint with like minded individuals.
Yes I have inflated my suit in the picture. I’m not that fat…. honest !!
Mike Parr | OWSI
Mike started sailing in Portsmouth Harbour in the 80s from the training hulk HMS Foudroyant.
Having discovered a love of the sea he embarked a career in the Royal Navy during which he specialised as a Hydrographic Surveyor and Meteorologist, at last you have someone to blame unfavourable weather and viz on!
Since leaving the Navy Mike has decided to share his passion and experience of the sea with others and now works as a freelance Sailing and Scuba Instructor.
Andrew Bognar | IDC Staff Instructor
Andy walked into the Aquanaut shop having just completed his PADI Open Water and announced he wanted to do some more dives.
3 years later, after a ‘few more’ dives Andy became a PADI Instructor as his diving passion had taken him to the point he wanted to share his experiences with new divers.
Andy has experienced life as an Aquanaut diver, Aquanaut Divemaster and now an Aquanaut instructor… and is still here, so we must be doing something right!
James Bertram | IDC Staff Instructor
James took his first breaths underwater in 2012 on a beach in the British Virgin Islands during a Discover Scuba Diving session. Following an Open Water dive to 12m on a beautiful coral reef, he knew he had to become a qualified scuba diver. His next dives were a massive contrast at an inland dive centre in UK the following April! By 2014 he had qualified as an Emergency First Response Instructor and a Divemaster. In mid-2016 he qualified as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and gave up what his wife likes to call “proper work” to teach scuba diving. He has since further qualified as an IDC Staff Instructor, helping to teach Instructor Development Courses.
The smile and elation when a person achieves something they may think is difficult, whether that is taking their first breaths underwater, climbing or kayaking is what keeps James enjoying teachng.