||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 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
Neville died on 4 May 2012. He was 74 years of age.
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
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
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
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
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
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 is well known for
his vaste number of books on maritime archaeology and treasure.
For full details, see:
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
Health & Fitnessin
|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.
Malayasia - An Underwater
Malaysia Diving Guide
(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
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 wrote over a hundred
and smaller booklets, including
the 'Wrecks On..." series
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
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
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
|HELMUT DEBELIUS and
|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.
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
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 !!.
||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);
(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.
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
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
Tarlton interview in SIA
|If it were not for the contribution
of Allan and Reece,
The Lady and the President could not have been
Since arriving in
Luganville in 1969 to assist with the removal of the propellors from the
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
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 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
Underwater Photographer of the Year in 1989. He has dived extensively
in the South Pacific, Papua New Guinea and the Great Barrier Reef.
||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
||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
||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