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….

The Owners

Lynne Clafton

Lynne Clafton | PADI 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

Ian Clafton | PADI 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.

Our Instructors

James Wilkinson

James Wilkinson | PADI Course Director

PADI Course Director, James Wilkinson completed his first ever scuba experience at 10 years old in the Dominican Republic. Gaining his entry level certification through BSAC in the UK at age 12.

After finishing university James decided that he needed more adventure in his life and became a PADI Divemaster in 2004 and a PADI OWSI in 2007. James has lived and worked in countries ranging from Australia and Thailand to Egypt. In 2018, James joined an elite few by becoming a PADI Course Director.

James also owns a dive centre in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt which is renowned for being one of the friendliest dive centres in town.

Matt Noel

Matt Noel | PADI 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 underwater and seeing that look of amazement on new diver’s faces when they first start moving around underwater.

Steve Marshall

Steve Marshall | PADI 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

James Bertram

James Bertram | PADI IDC Staff Instructor

James took his first breaths underwater in 2012 in the British Virgin Islands during a Discover Scuba Diving session. His next dives were a massive contrast at an inland dive centre in the UK the following April!

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’s taking their first breaths underwater, climbing or kayaking is what keeps James enjoying teaching.

Andy Bognar

Andy Bognar | PADI 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!

Paul Searle

Paul Searle | PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Paul took up diving in 2008 after stumbling across a dive centre in Egypt run by some very enthusiastic Germans. After giving it a go, fell in love instantly with diving and the culture that surrounds it. Paul loves travelling 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 Paul and in 2013 took the plunge and became an Instructor. Paul gets a real thrill from teaching people of all ages and abilities to realise a dream of becoming a diver. Perhaps his 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.

Alex Bandurak

Alex Bandurak | PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Alex first started diving on holidays as a teenager and was instantly hooked. He took his open water course and hasn’t looked back since. Scuba diving was a brilliant addition to his first career as a marine biologist.

After a career change and moving to London, he joined Aquanaut as a Rescue Diver. Working with the other Aquanaut instructors, he progressed through the professional ranks as a DM, as well as becoming a Tech Diver. In 2020 he qualified as an instructor and gained his MSDT in 2021.

He loves seeing students’ faces the first time they experience life underwater and watching them grow in confidence as they discover more and more of the underwater world.

Luke Cooper-Berry

Luke Cooper-Berry | PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor

Luke qualified as a PADI Junior Open Water Diver in 1994 and was hooked from the start. Diving regularly in UK waters, he became a BSAC Instructor at 18 years old. It was on a trip to the Red Sea for his first warm water diving that his passion for underwater photography took off.

Since then, Luke has been keen to see as much of the world’s marine life as possible, taking pictures to share his experiences with others and to promote the protection and conservation of our seas and oceans.

Luke became a PADI Instructor in 2010. He is just as passionate about diving now as he was as a child and it gives him enormous pleasure to watch his students as they discover this magical world for the first time.

Shop Staff

Toni Gill

Toni Gill | PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor

Toni started diving as a teenager and loved it so much that she became an instructor at the age of 19, working part-time in the industry for years.

Toni then took a break while she accidentally worked in finance for far too long, but loved the water too much to stay away and came back to the dive industry, working between both of our centres, and excited to start teaching again!