MEET OUR STAFF - Mark Allen
Updated: Nov 2
Staff Name: Mark Allen IDCS-375527
Why did you learn to dive?
Romping around my living room in my mask, snorkel & fins aged 7 - I was so enthralled after watching Sean Connery in Thunderball at the pictures with my parents. Then fascinated by Jaques Cousteau over the years – his series of Undersea World (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Cousteau). Eventually getting to don a scuba unit by joining the sub–aqua club when I was at college in 1975.
What is the favourite course you have done?
This is a difficult one – Rescue, Divemaster, Tec40, Rebreather and Trimix. Rescue – it was such hard work but pushed me and then DM because that carried on stretching my ability. CCR, Tec40 and Trimix – not just for the greater dive flexibility but also for the much greater understanding of gases and the physiology of diving.
What is your favourite course to teach?
This is another hard one for me. I love to teach Open Water due the immense satisfaction and pleasure of seeing the look on new dive students faces as they gain confidence in their ability and qualify but Rescue & DM is such great fun, hard work but so rewarding helping others become better divers.
Do you have a favourite piece of dive kit?
Three pieces of equipment always go on holiday with me whether it’s a diving holiday or a family holiday (just in case) - my Mask (its prescription), my dive computer(s) and my wet suit. Strangely enough – I don’t always take my GoPro which I have regretted sometimes (Zenobia dive).
What was a memorable dive for you?
Again, a difficult choice, my first ocean dive - the realisation that there were no pool sides to hold onto which emphasised how vast our oceans really are. Re–discovering the joy of diving in 2014 and becoming an Instructor or the first time diving with my eldest daughter, or the Zenobia, or the Thistlegorm. I think the one that trumps them all though is literally coming nose to nose with a shark in the Southern Red Sea in 2015 (see pic)