Phil has been diving professionally and exploring for over 26 years and has logged over 7000 dives in caves and open water using both open and closed circuit equipment, with over 3000 hours on Rebreather equipment. He started diving in 1990 from a background of dry caving and at first only completed diver training to pass short flooded sections of dry caves.
He then continued his diver training through the PADI system with Course Director Steve Axtell and in 1991 he qualified as a PADI instructor and began teaching full time, working his way up to Master Instructor. During this period Phil continued cave diving and began developing his Technical Diving skills through training with Kevin Gurr and in 1993 was involved in forming one of the first Trimix wreck diving teams in the UK.
He is now one of the UK’s foremost IANTD Instructor Trainer Trainers and the Training director of IANTD UK in addition to being a member of the IANTD HQ Board of Advisors. Having devoted all his free time to developing his Technical skills, Phil began to use them for cave diving, his true passion, on expeditions to Mallorca, France, Spain, Canada, Russia, Greece and Mexico. At the same time, he began teaching first open, then closed circuit, technical and cave diving full time.
Phil has been involved in film projects for ITV, the BBC, Discovery and Channel 4. Subjects have included the M1 submarine, the shipwrecks from the battle of Jutland, ‘Oceans’, and cave diving projects in Spain (‘The Road to Certain Death’), the UK (‘Secret Underground’) and Mexico (‘Curiosity The Cave’). He has also taken part as a closed circuit rebreather diver in several shipwreck search projects in the Western Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico.
As an educator Phil has trained divers from groups such as the HSE, the BBC, the Police, NOAA, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI), the Archaeological department of the National Museum of China and the US National Parks Service. For the last five years Phil has been a team diver and Dive Safety Officer for a combined WHOI and Greek
Ephorate of Antiquities project to rediscover, survey and excavate the Antikythera Mechanism wreck in Greece. He has also been involved in the continuing excavation of Lord Elgin’s Mentor wreck. In 2017 he helped excavate the Tulsamerican B-24 bomber off the island of Vis in Croatia for a joint DPAA/Lund University and USA NPS project.
Linked to this move into commercial support for the scientific diving community Phil completed HSE SCUBA training in 2016 along with HSE First Aid at Work and became co director of Dark Water Exploration Ltd. After completion of a 3 month cave exploration project with Bill Stone, where 45 days were spent underground, in 2015 Phil became a member of the Explorers Club and in 2017 was upgraded to a Fellow. In 2016 Phil was awarded ‘Diver of the Conference’ at the TekDive USA conference in Miami Florida.
Phil became a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS) in 2018.