London & Surrey’s premier complete diving and snorkelling experience, staffed by passionate and knowledgeable divers.
We are a dive school, dive retailer and service centre, and we arrange events and trips too. We can offer you the full service whatever level of diver you are.
We are a PADI 5* IDC Centre
As a PADI 5* Centre we are known to deliver exceptional quality training. We are not a certification factory, we are here to teach you to dive not just tick a box.
We are also a PADI Approved Youth Training Centre, meaning we meet the highest standards for running programs for families, Schools and Youth Groups.
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.
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. We are not a certification factory, offering cheap courses to tick a box, we teach our divers to dive!
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.
James Wilkinson | Course Director
PADI Course Director, James Wilkinson was originally born in landlocked London but developed a passion for the underwater realm during family holidays abroad from a young age.
James completed his first ever scuba experience at the tender age of 10 years old in the Dominican Republic. James had to wait a couple more years till he could gain his entry level certification through BSAC in the UK at age 12.
After finishing school and university, where he studied Computer Information System Design, James decided that he needed more adventure in his life and became a PADI Divemaster in 2004 and a PADI OWSI in 2007.
Completing all his scuba training in the cooler waters of the UK, James broadened his horizons and lived and worked in countries ranging from Australia and Thailand through to Egypt from 2008 till 2019, where he continued to teach the world to dive.
In 2018, James took the courageous step and joined an elite few by becoming a PADI Course Director.
Currently, James can be found teaching PADI Open Water through to PADI Instructor Development Courses at Aquanaut Scuba whilst additionally being one of their resident service technicians. James also owns a dive centre in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt which is renowned for being one of the friendliest dive centres in town.
Not that there is much of it, but in James’ free time he adores spending time with his wife and two children and enjoying other exhalating activities like skating and rock climbing.
Matt Noel | Master 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 Master 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.
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 teaching.
Andy 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!
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
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.