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AUTHOR INFORMATION ..

 
FRITZ HERSCHEID
Born near Koln in Germany in 1946, Fritz Herscheid migrated with his parents to Australia in 1952. At the age of nineteen he acquired a degree in Automotive Engineering and soon after moved to New Guinea where he owned and operated several successful  businesses. It was here that he discovered
the excitement and potentially lucrative business of marine salvage. Having taught himself to use explosives, he embarked on a short and improbable career combing the seas of New Guinea seeking the underwater treasure of non-ferrous metals left behind by the Japanese and Allies after the Pacific War. His book, TheLast New Guinea Salvge Pirate,  is based on these remarkable adventures.
Fritz went on to become a qualified small ships captain and also an Australian Commonwealth certified commercial diver, and just for the fun of it, a PADI Dive Master. A long stint with the Department of Foreign Affairs as a commercial advisor prepared him for his current role as a business broker. Later in life he obtained a Queensland Real Estate Agents license and to help serve the community a Justice of
the Peace (Qualified). Fritz now operates Barrier Reef Business Brokers in Cairns.
NEVILLE COLEMAN

Neville Coleman OAM was an Australian naturalist, underwater nature photographer, writer, publisher and educator. Moreso, he was a brilliant marine scientist and educator, even though never academically qualified in the field. His publications have encouraged so many divers to take a greater interest in the marine world, and his assistance to those professionals so qualified has been extraordinary. His contribution to marine education will always be remembered, but to those who had the pleasure to know him, he will also be remembered for being an extraordinary man, a real character with an intense personality. Neville made you laugh, and think. I first met him in the seventies at the Oceans Congresses in Melbourne, and we remained good friends. His loss is personally sad, and a tragedy to the diving scene. 
Neville died on 4 May 2012. He was 74 years of age.

Neville was born near the shores of the Lane Cove River in Sydney.  He aspired to be an explorer, but on leaving school he completed an apprenticeship in photo-lithography. In 1963 his life reached a major turning point when, drawn by a love of nature and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge he set about to beat his greatest fear - the ocean and its inhabitants - and began spending his spare time diving in Sydney's harbour and coastal waters, finding many rare and beautiful marine animals.  He dreamed constantly of discovery and felt a great desire to explore, to find what had never been found.  His urge to discover, and the unknown challenge of the sea, eventually led to exploration on a larger scale.

In March 1969, after two years of preparation, he conducted the "Australian Coastal Marine Expedition", a total of almost four years travelling 64,000 kilometres around the Australian coast, observing, recording, photographing and collecting many thousands of marine creatures.  Unfinanced, unsupported, unknown, undermanned and unlikely to succeed, he overcame all these obstacles and produced the first photographic subtidal survey ever attempted on any continent. The Australasian Marine Photographic Index of which he is curator, is the largest scientifically-curated visual identification system in the Southern Hemisphere with over 10,000 species photographed and catalogued.

Neville is a fascinating and colourful character with tremendous love of life.  He has an infectious enthusiasm for his work and has developed,  through his experiences and knowledge, a confident understanding of and affinity with the marine world. He has had encounters with sharks and sea snakes, venomous sea wasps and stone fish, and has allowed himself to be bitten or stung by many denizens of the deep. He has even photographed the stings and recorded the pain level and effects, in an effort to help other divers to know what to expect and how to handle it. (See Neville's excellent Dangerous Sea Creatures). 

In July 1980, LondonATV flew Neville to Papua New Guinea for a 30-minute documentary in their Nature Watch series.  ABC's Big Country programme also discovered Neville in 1980 and produced a 30-minute documentary on his work at Lord Howe Island. Early in 1985 Mike Willesee's Trans Media Productions produced a documentary entitled "Sink or Swim", on Neville introducing young Australians to the wonders of the underwater world.
 Author of some forty books, Neville has written and illustrated more four colour underwater education natural history books than any other single person in the world, and as such, is the most successful writer on marine life in Australia's history.  His articles have been carried by over 140 magazines with photographs being reproduced by the National Geographic Society, Timp-Life and Reader's Digest.
Since returning with the Australian Coastal Marine Expedition, over 50 minor expeditions have been carried out in world oceans, logging over 10,000 dives, and discovering over 400 species new to science. His photographs are on display at most major museums and aquariums in Australia. Underwater Geographic magazine was entirely produced by Neville in 1981 in an effort to bring about a greater understanding towards the aquatic environment and its much maligned inhabitants.

As the first full time freelance underwater naturalist/ photographer managing to exist in Australia, Neville and his work are part of the pioneering spirit the country was built on. To this extent Neville lectures regularly through the world on underwater marine biology and conservation and is a limited field instructor for all recognised diver instruction agencies in Australia for marine awareness and underwater photography courses. As a member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photography, he judges many international underwater photography competitions and shoot outs and has received several high profile industry and foundation awards for his role as environmental educator and pioneer marine conservationist. His "Education through Entertainment" audio-visual programmes have been enjoyed by many thousands of Australians.

Neville Coleman has a mission statement well worth considering in our estimation of the value of the marine world:
Since time immemorial human nature has been at war with nature.  We have conquered every life form.  We have diminished the rich diversity of creatures and destroyed many of their habitats.  In the "Arrogance of our Ignorance" we have cast aside the laws of the universe and altered the nature of things. Deluded by illusions of our own importance we have assumed "God-like powers". We must look beyond the oblivion of perceived perception and unshackle our minds from the programming of the past.
There is only one world of water.  It connects the entire planet.  Everybody across the planet may be accountable, but not everybody across the planet, is responsible.
However, the world of water isn't mine, nor do my concepts belong to me. The issues I stand for represent, believe in and fight for, are everybody's issues, and everybody's responsibility.  Unless we, as people, made a stand for the aquatic environment and support the ideals of those whose dreams and commitments go beyond the ordinary, then what we don't see is exactly what will be left.
We must make peace with nature and heal the wounds of centuries.  We must accept the responsibilities of our ignorance and endeavour to change our eternally bad habits.  We must alter our attitudes and understand that this war with nature cannot be allowed to go any further
Knowledge is like a flight of steps through the evolution of time.  We cannot begin to climb unless someone, somewhere builds the first step. Others come along at later stages and using the first step add their own knowledge and build another step. And so it goes on. But before we can learn about things, we must have a reference point, a description, a name, for only then does relevance exist and knowledge begin.
In a lifetime contributing to the steps of knowledge I may not have always been 100% right, acted with discretion, or majored in the role of diplomacy. Perhaps the job I set myself (of) explorer, builder, educator and conserver were too idealistic for the measure of one?  Perhaps they were just the aspirations of a passionate dreamer who chose to fight for his beliefs, who created a reason for his being, a most important reason.

RON and VAL TAYLOR
Ron Taylor, the face of Australian diving (together with wife Valerie), died in Sydney on 9 September 2012 after a long battle with myeloid leukaemia. He was 78 years of age. Ron will always be remembered as the spearfisherman turned conservationist and evironmentalist, and underwater photographer. He did much to promote a greater awareness of the oceans and their importance to our very existence. He also put the fear of God in us with his underwater footage of sharks, some used in the terrifying movie Jaws. I had the pleasure of meeting Ron and Val several times but never really knew them. I will never forget his remarkable underwater footage taken on the wreck of the Yongala, especially the scene of a sea snake swimming toward Ron, with he finning on his back and keeping the snake in perfect focus. He was awared a Member of the Order of Australia for services to conservation in 2003. May he rest in peace, and sincere condolences to Val and their family. 
BOB MARX

Bob Marx is well known for his vaste number of books on maritime archaeology and treasure.
For full details, see:
http://classicdivebooks.customer.netspace.net.au/oeclassics-a-marks.html
This recent (February 2006) photo is of Bob signing one of his books at a conference in Florida for author Dave Crooks. 
Dave has written The Bibliography of Sunken Treasure. 

DR JOLIE BOOKSPAN

TITLES:
Diving Physiology in
Plain English
Health & Fitnessin
Plain English

Dr. Jolie Bookspan is a sports medicine specialist and research physiologist in environmental physiology- how the human body works during heat, cold, altitude, immersion, high G-forces, injury states, weightlessness, and how to perform better in these environments, an interest that began as a child when she watched her grandfather, the oldest member of the "Icebergs" walk over snow and ice to go swimming every day.

After serving in the Army she became a scientist for the US Navy. She completed a ellowship in cold immersion, and a post-doctorate in altitude decompression. She's lived, studied, and worked in sites from an underwater laboratory to the mountains and deserts of India, Nepal, Asia, and Northern Africa, is advisor to The Discovery Channel and the Philadelphia Police Training Department, was researcher at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine analyzing oxygen toxicity research - studies on hyperbaric, hypoxic, and hypercapnic response to rest and exercise, and was professor of anatomy at a college in the mountains of Mexico where the entrance exam was getting up the mountain without a nosebleed.

Most people know Dr. Bookspan as a serious scientist, but few know that her father taught her to dive in the Hudson River in the 1960's, she made two Olympic bids as a swimmer, has a black belt in karate, and had 14 fights in the ring as an amateur boxer. Left paralyzed in a military accident, she rehabbed with her own methods while doctors insisted she accept she would never walk. Two months after walking again, she was a passenger in a 4-car crash, injuring her more seriously than before. She walked again years later, against all expectations.

ANDREA and 
ANTONELLA FERRARI

TITLES:
MacroLife
Malayasia - An Underwater
Paradise
Malaysia Diving Guide

 Andrea (born 1957) and Antonella (born 1960) Ferrari have been happily married since 1986 and have no children. He is a movie journalist and film critic by profession and she works in the same publishing company. They share a true love of nature and of course the sea. After having published two major photographic books on land wildilfe ('Wild Edens', and Venezuela - In the Kingdom of the Jaguar) they turned their attention to sea photography.

Strongly tied to Malaysia - a country they are madly in love with and which they have been regularly visiting twice a year during the past twelve years - they have published quite a few best-selling guides. Titles worth mentioning are their ground-breaking Malaysia Diving Guide, (originally published in Italy, it has been translated in English, French, German and Dutch), Malaysia - An Underwater Paradise,  Layang Layang - The Island of Dreams Come True, and Top Nature and Dive Resorts of Borneo.  Two other recent and very successful general, in-depth photographic marine life guides of the Ferraris have just been published in French, Spanish and American: Reef Life, and Sharks. At the moment they are hard working on a complete photographic guide to the Macrolife of Malaysia, scheduled to be out  by the end of 2002. 

They live in the cold, foggy countryside south of Milan, Italy, in an old refurbished farm going back to the eighteenth century, with their beloved third English Bull Terrier (yes, they're addicted to that lovely breed!), which comes by the name of Undaunted (he's Scottish) but has been rechristened Glen (he likes it better). 

HUGH EDWARDS

Hugh Edwards  is a Western Australian author and  marine photographer who has written  twenty sevn books on a range of subjects including maritime history, local history, natural history and diving. He played a major part in the discovery of the famous DutchEast India Company shipwrecks of the 17th and 18th centuries on the Western Australian coast. His book Islands Of Angry Ghostson his expedition to the site of the Batavia, lost in the Abrolhos Islands in 1629,  won the Sir Thomas White Memorial Prize for the best book written by an Australian in 1966. It covers the loss of the Dutch Esat Indiaman, the mutiny and massacre on the island, and the retributions. Wreck on the Half Moon Reef is another of Edwards' excellent books, on the loss of the Zeewyk in 1727. 

And his Sharks and Shipwrecks, published in 1975, still attracts great interest. Two more recent titles include Shark - The Shadow Below, and Port of Pearls (on the north-west town of Broome and its pearling industry). Regarded as one of Australia's finest non-fiction writers, he is both a gentleman and a scholar, a diver and adventurer. He lives in Perth, Western Australia

JACK LONEY

TITLES:
Jack wrote over a hundred books
and smaller booklets, including
the 'Wrecks On..." series covering
the Australian coast.

In his thirty years as an author/publisher Jack Loney has published over one hundred books, written regularly for newspapers and magazines, and more recently has expanded his maritime interests into educational tours, radio and television.His colourful views on popular legends like the Mahogany Ship and Benito's Treasure, his critical examination of the Historic Shipwrecks Act, and an enormous collection of fascinating shipwreck stories from all over Australia attract widespread interest whenever he speaks at dinner meetings, recreational seminars, and historical society functions. 
He was born in 1925, and until his untimely death on 13 February 1995, lived in Portarlington, Victoria with wife Padge. He had two children, Peter and Sally. He was a school teacher and principal until his retirement. Jack became interested in maritime history after preparing several general history booklets for the Ottway Region of western Victoria.His last book published was Wrecks on the Western Australian Coast. 

On the 10 February 1995, Jack Loney was to be presented by an award from the Victorian Government for his contribution as a maritime historian, author, and story-teller. Sadly, he was admitted to hospital a week before the award was to be presented by the Hon. Rob Maclellan, Minister for Planning.In lieu of this personal award, the Victorian government decreed a perpetual memorial award - called the Jack Loney Award - for outstanding contribution to maritime history. The inaugural award was presented to Jack's long-time friend and collegue Peter Stone in July 1998. Peter published several of Jack's books through the Lonestone Press imprint, and also co-authoured two small books with Jack - Australia's Island Shipwrecks and High and Dry. Peter recalls, "Jack was one of the most sincere friends a person could have, an extremely kind and generous man, and a thorough gentleman in all respects. He would never hesitate to help anyone interested in maritine history and was always willing to share his knowledge. He will be sadly missed." 

The following is part of the presentation speach made by Peter on accepting the Jack Loney Award. "We are here today for many individual reasons to honour Jack Loney. To me, Jack's greatness is not because of his extensive knowledge of maritime Australia, nor because he had written over one hundred books, nor because he was involved in a large number of maritime associations. It is simply because he was - a gentleman. To me, the respect and admiration I have for Jack Loney is because he had always been willing to share his knowledge with others, and to encourage others. He has never horded his research like some authors do. He always graciously gave of his time to help others, often at some considerable expense. It is for this reason alone that he is known personally to literally thousands of divers and maritime enthusiasts. Jack had done much to ensure that our national maritime heritage is never forgotten. Through his publications and his personal presentations and time spend with individuals, he has encouraged people to take a greater interest in our past, thus in a sence preserving our history for the future. Quite a few divers, perhaps not enough but quite a few, have reverted from a wreck bashing mentality to one of respect and consideration for those generations to come because of Jack's encouragement. I guess I am one of these. There may never be a Noble Prize awarded for a maritime publication. But if there were an award for respect and humility, I'd put Jack down for it."

HELMUT DEBELIUS and
RUDIE KUITER


Helmut (left)

Rudie and proprietor Peter Stone go back many years (decades?), and in January 1998 he kindly brought visiting German author Helmut Debelius to Yarram, home of Oceans Enterprises, in Victoria. It was a pleasure having these two famous ichtyologists, underwater photographers, and authors in the company, where they were entertained in our in-house cafe. Both these remarkable men have contributed enormously to our knowledge of fishes and reef life.
See IKAN series of books for titles by Helmut Debelius.
Rudie is  the author of Coastal Fishes of South-Eastern Australia, and Guide to Sea Fishes, as well as several in the excellent TMC series of fish books
 
GERMANY IN THE WORLD CUP?
Cricket is not a game well known in Europe, and they are not represented in the World Cup, but author/marine naturalist/publisher and damn fine bloke Helmut Debelius (IKAN publications) was quite keen to give it a go during a recent visit to Australia. Whereas I am sure he would prefer to bowl a maiden over, he was aghast at the thought of no balls, refused to field in slips, and prefered the wicket-keepers role in a loud Hawaiian shirt whilst young Sam Stone hit a four off a googley by Dad. Helmut was visiting with author/icthyologist/marine naturalist Rudie Kuiter. Thanks fellas for the pleasure of your company and making Sam's day. And if you have no idea what I am talking about, you can't be an Aussie, a Pom or a Kiwi !!. 
PETER STONE

Born in 1943 in Townsville, Queensland, Peter was a computer manager before co-managing Aquarius Dive Travel in the 1980s. During this time, he wrote hundreds of articles for dive, travel, airline, marine and general magazines and became a full-time author and publisher in 1988. He now lives wife wife Wendy and son Sam in Devon North near Yarram, a small town north-east of Wilsons Promontory in the Gippsland region of eastern Victoria where he runs Oceans Enterprises. He also has a daughter Catherine in Western Australia, and two grand-daughters, Sienna and Indigo. 
On 15 August 1998, Peter was awarded the Victorian Government's Jack Loney Memorial Award ..." in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the preservation of Australia's maritime herirtage through his community role as a maritime and dive adventure writer, lobbyist, publisher and photographer". 
His books include Hostages to Freedom - The Fall of Rabaul; The Lady and the President - The Life and Loss of the SS President Coolidge; Dive Australia (now 4th edition); Rabaul's Forgotten Fleet (with Monica Foster), Splendid Isolation - A History of the Yarram and District Health Service; El Tigre - Frank Holland ,Commander Coastwatcher; Australia's Island Shipwrecks (with Jack Loney); High and Dry (with Jack Loney). 
Recently published the Encyclopedia of Australian Shipwrecks. 
Peter is proprietor of Oceans Enterprises, publishers and book distributors.
ROGER STEENE

Without little doubt, Roger Steene is the finest underwater naturalist photographer in Australia. I have not met the man, but I gather that he is a down-to-earth Aussie who loves the oceans and its creatures, a no nonsense photographer who shuns publicity and just aims at perfection. A resident of Cairns, north-east Australia, he has always lived close to the Great Barrier Reef. He had more than thirty years as a diver, photographing underwater subjects at many locations around the world. His meeticulous attention to detail conveys a sspecial impression of marine life. Concentrating on close-up photography, including microscopic work, many of his subjects are animals that have neither been recorded or named. Even when simply recording a particular species, Roger Steene's work is exceptional.

He has contributed to many books. His specific titles include:
Coral Reefs - Natures Richest Realm.

KELLY TARLTON


Kelly Tarlton - father, husband, adventurer, diver, treasure-hunter, photographer, maritime archaeologist, entrepreneur, humourist and gentleman. Kelly led a remarkable life and achieved his goal in many projects. His memory is perperuated in the shipwreck museum at Waitangi on New Zealand's North Island, and in Underwater World in Auckland which he developed as a remarkable walk-through aquarium at the site of the old sewerage tanks. His death on 17 March 1985 at the age of 47 did indeed "send shock waves through the country's diving community" and were felt in Australia and the USA.  Many of us remember 'where we were' on hearing of the death of a prominent person. I will never forget the time and place that I heard of the loss of a wonderful friend and achiever. 
Kelly is remembered in Throw Me The Wreck Johnny - Memories of Kelly Tarlton - The Man Behind The Legend, superbly written by Steve Locker-Lampson.
For a full interview with this remarkable man, see
Kelly Tarlton interview in SIA
ALLAN POWER &
REECE DISCOMBE


Allan

Reece

If it were not for the contribution of Allan and Reece, The Lady and the President could not have been written. 
 Since arriving in Luganville in 1969 to assist with the removal of the propellors from the President Coolidge, Allan Power has logged over  15,000 dives on the ship, for a bottom time of over one and a half years. He knows every inch of the ship, and has taken over 20,000 divers from all over the world to visit 'The Lady'. 
Many decades ago, Allan's expertise as an underwater photographer developed to the point where he left work at a rubber factory in 1968 to concentrate full-time on underwater photography. This resulted in the best selling publication The Great Barrier Reef, published by the Hamlyn Group,  in 1969, with 150,000 copies sold over nine printings. (It is now out of print). In November 1969, Allan left Sydney for Espiritu Santo and worked with Barry May's salvage team on the President Coolidge for a year or so, successfully raising both propellors from the wreck. He stayed on and established Santo Dive Tours. He lives in Luganville, on Espiritu Santo.

Reece Discombe did his stint in the New Zealand Army and after the war, started his own marine engineering business in Auckland, repairing war damaged ships. He went into war salvage, and came to the New Hebrides in 1947 with wife Jean. Ater extensive salvage work, he established an engineering company in Port Vila and has been there ever since, although retired from business. A skilled and 'utterly fearless' diver with a penchant for adventure, Reece re-discovered the ships of the missing French explorer La Perouse. He found the Astrolabe off the island of Vanikoro in 1958, and then in 1962  discovered La Perouse's second vessel Boussole, lost in 1788. For these achievements he was made an Officer of France's National Order of Merit, the civilian equivalent of the Legion Of Honour. In 1972 he was awarded the British Red Cross Silver Medal for his services.  In 1978 he was 'gonged' once again, this time with the Queen's Jubilee Medal; on the eve of Vanuatu independence he received the Resident Comissioner's medal for services to the country, and an OBE was confered in the 1980 Queens Birthday Honours. Quite a remarkable man. He still lives in Port Vila and regularly visits family in New Caledonia and New Zealand. Sadly, Jean passed away several years ago

MAX GLEESON

Max is recognised as one of Sydney's most experienced wreck divers and authorities on local shipwrecks. His interst in diving began with sperfishing in the mid 1960s. He has written numerous articles for several Australian dive magazines and several books: SS Yongala - Townsville Titanic; Shipwrecks, Storms and Seamen; The Vanished Fleet of the Sydney Coastline. He is also an award-winning underwater photographer, including the prestigious Australasian Underwater Photographer of the Year in 1989. He has dived extensively in the South Pacific, Papua New Guinea and the Great Barrier Reef.
JOHN LIPPMANN

John is a qualified teacher/statistician, and has been scuba diving for some thrity years during which he has held instructor qualifications with a number of agencies - FAUI, NAUI, BSAC, CMAS. His speciality is teaching diver rescue, deep diving and oxygen administration and he has taken a particular interest in hyperbaric medicine. He has been an instructor/examiner in oxygen resuscitation with the Royal Life-Saving Society of Australia for over ten years, and is a past chairman of the Oxygen Rescuscitation Panel of the RLSS (Vic), and a representative on the Australian Resuscitation Council. His published works include Deeper Into Diving, The Essenttial of Deeper Sport Diving, Oxygen First Aid for Divers, the DES -Dan Emergency Handbook (with Stan Bugg), and Scuba Safety in Australia (with Wilks and Knight).

 
VALE - IRVIN ROCKMAN
Irvin Rockman was one of the pioneers of recreational diving in Victoria, in the 1950s, starting out with snorkel and spear but soon swapping his speargun for a camera. In 1974, after two decades of diving, Irvin published one of the first full-colour hardcover books, Underwater Australia to enthusiastic acclaim from his peers. He is well know by the older establishment of Australian divers, but also very well known to most Victorian's for his non-diving achievements. As a businessman, he owned Rockman's Regency Hotel in Melbourne, at his time the finest in Melbourne. And in 1977, after many years giving service as a Melbourne City councillor, he became Lord Mayor. He never lost his passion for diving and often joined expeditions to the Pacific and SE Asia. After a long battle with cancer he passed away on 30 August 2010. 
VALE - ISOBEL BENNETT.
Author and marine zoologist Isobel Bennett died, aged 98. She is well known to divers who have taken an interest in the marine habitat, especially the near shore environment, and did her 'apprenticeship' with William Dakin, contributing significantly to his 'Australian Seashores', Angus ? Robertson, 1952. Her own acclaimed 'The Fringe of the Sea' was published by Rigby in 1966. An honorary Master of Science, an Officer of the Order of Austtalia and recipient of an honorary doctorate from the University of New South Wales, Isobel wrote 10 books about Austtalian seashores and the Great Barrier Reef. Following 40 years at the zoology department in Sydney University, she continued to work tirelessly into her nineties with the local community, conserving the marine life on the rock platforms around her home on Sydney's northern beaches. 
Part details from  Allen ? Unwin via Bookseller ? Publisher magazine, March 2008.
VALE -  XAVIER MANIUET died in an aircrash in France in March 2009. This remarkable man wrote, amongst other books, The Jaws of Death. But there was more, much more, to Xavier Maniguet than being an author - see the entry under his book.
VALE - DICK JOLLY
Captain Dick Jolly was a remarkable man, a tug captain and salvage expert who document his extraordinary achievements in Wrecks, Rescues and Salvage (see under 'Treasure'). He lost his battle to cancer at his home in Eden, New South Wales, on 7 February 2009. 
Oceans Enterprises, 303 Commercial Road, Yarram, Vic 3971, Australia.