Full Name: Chris(topher) Hazlehurst
Live In: Currently Malta, but relocating to England shortly
Working For: Freelance Instructor
Diver Qualifications: PADI Course Director, teaching 33 recreational specialties, training 18 Instructor specialties, EFR IT, TecDeep IT, Disabled Divers International (DDI) IT, PADI Advanced Rebreather Diver, IANTD Trimix Diver
When and where did you start diving?
1994, Australia, Cairns on the Barrier Reef, Try dives
Why did you start diving?
On holiday and the opportunity was too good to miss, and loved it from the start. Only booked one “incase I didn’t like it”. Came back to England and qualified in Dosthill Quarry and Stoney Cove, but I knew the grass was greener!! Since then, the bank balance has never been the same!!
What made you choose to become a dive professional?
Was facing redundancy with my previous job, which was also as an instructor, so made the step up to Diving Instructor to ‘give back’ and introduce, teach and share my love of diving.
Which is your favourite dive site and why?
Many ask this, and my reply is “for what”? Bahamas for wrecks and ‘cost effective’ close up sharks, Red Sea
liveaboards for the closest tropical reefs with colour, wrecks and plenty of fish, Thailand liveaboards for the great diving cost effectively with great diving, colour, plenty of fish and a good chance to see Mantas or Whalesharks, Papua New Guinea for prestine reefs and great muck diving with plenty of small critters and
What has been the most memorable dive of your life and why?
Probably in Thailand, Hin Muang, a 45 minute experience with a Manta and 2 Cobia on my own after the other divers had swam off, and all caught on video.
If you would come back as a marine life form in your next life, what would that be?
With my size, it would need to be a whaleshark, although I could not command the grace and beauty!
Who is your dream dive buddy?
If it was anyone it would probably be Hans Hass, he was a great inspiration to me. Living – quite a few to think of!!
What dive locations are on your dream “bucket list” and why?
Still so muchof the world to see. I would love to take the time to tour the South Pacific over 6 months to a year, both above and below the water as I am fascinated by the culture and beliefs. Truck and Bikini simply for the fantastic wrecks and history. The Golden Triangle of diving Indonesia – Phillipines – Paua New Guinea because there is still so much to see and find in new species. South Africa – Great White Sharks, because I love sharks and they are at the pinnacle of sharks in my opinion.
What is on your bedside table right now?
Sea Salt, by Stan Waterman, The Last Dive by Bernie Choubury (a reading light, alarm clock and my reading glasses!!)
What is your favourite piece of diving equipment and why?
My current favourite is my Poseidon MkVI rebreather which I am still learning (I am very green in the rebreather diving side of things!)
If you were to launch a campaign to raise awareness on a specific issue that affects divers, the oceans or marine life, what issue would you target and why?
That we need to protect the fishlife, stop overfishing, (Many fish are caught as ‘bycatch’ but have to be thrown back due to quotas however, it’s been caught, it’s dead and cannot mate, reproduce or be caught at a later date, therefore depleting the fish stocks and NOBODY gains!!) but also what we put on the land can and does get washed into the sea and pollutes it from there.
Where will you be in 10 years and what will you be doing?
Hopefully still alive, still diving and still passing on my love of diving.