DIVE BUDDIES

season one

EPISODE 8: Oleg Baranovsky

SDI & PADI Scuba Instructor

As many other fellow divers here, I grew up watching Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his Odyssey series back in the day. Now, growing up in the USSR, even in our wildest dreams we didn't think we would be traveling and diving at all these exotic places. Nevertheless, I still managed to bribe some local commercial divers in Crimea to take us for some local diving there and was amazed with it.

 

Years later I found myself living in Los Angeles. Here I was reintroduced to scuba diving again and got hooked. My childhood dreams came true big time and I was fascinated to rediscover the whole underwater world. I also met a lot of wonderful fellow divers in the process. Later I was inspired to become a scuba instructor and love to share my passion with others.

EPISODE 7: Frank Popovich

Former Treasure Diver

At a young age, I loved watching Jacques Cousteau (the godfather of scuba diving). Growing up in Ohio, I was a long way from the ocean but always loved the water. When I was about 21, I moved to Virginia Beach, VA. Living at the beach I knew it was time to become a certified Diver and I did!

I ended up in the Florida Keys as Treasure Hunter! I learned a lot about the ocean and how to hunt for treasure. I didn’t find any treasure but had a lot of fun and met a lot of great people. Now years later I get the pleasure to dive with my youngest daughter, Sara. We had a great dive trip to Belize this summer and I hope to have more in the future.

EPISODE 6: Saoirse Pottie

PADI Divemaster & Marine Biologist

I grew up in a farming community in a land locked county in Northern Ireland but I have always been captivated by the ocean. In 2013, I completing my first scuba diving qualification and was officially hooked.
 

I now work as a marine biologist and currently I am working on a project on the endangered zebra/leopard shark in Mozambique. I am founder of the citizen science program ‘ID the Leopard Shark,’ which aims to collect photographs and sightings information in Africa. This information is vital to inform national legislation and conserve critical habitats. The ocean has provided me with so many incredible experiences, I hope by sharing these I will help inspire people to get out and experience it too.

EPISODE 5: Fred Haemker

SDI & PADI Scuba Instructor

Growing up in LA has afforded me the opportunity to be the biggest kid in the world. I've taught just about anything that has to do with the water. I've been a Lifeguard for LA City for about 6 years now, as well as a surf instructor for 3 years. What was simply a conversation with a few fellow lifeguards led to back to back certifications all the way to Instructor.

 

With such a love for all things in the water, and the ability to teach many of the skills, I decided why not do one more? If there are no waves for me to surf, I'm down below as much as I can be. I am fascinated by sharks and deep diving and am making it my goal to further my knowledge and skills in these aspects of SCUBA.  

EPISODE 5: Ian Wells

SDI & PADI Scuba Instructor

My dad is a retired navy diver so I was in the water at an early age; you could say diving is in my blood. I was thirteen when I had my first dive experience. The warm waters of Florida Keys allowed me to see an amazing underwater world and gave me a newfound clarity.

 

I started my professional diving career in 2015 and progressed through the ranks quickly to gain my Instructor status. I was lucky to be trained by the best instructors in Southern California and now I'm inspired to teach others the same crucial skills that allow me to dive with ease and confidence. I am here to get more divers in the water and gain a better understanding of our oceans.

EPISODE 4: Shannon Crosby

Dive Travel Agent & Scuba Instructor

Shannon grew up surrounded by land in the middle of the continent--Missouri. Planning to study marine biology, scuba was always on her radar of things she must achieve. In college, she took a scuba diving course and did her first 40 dives over two weeks in Cozumel, Mexico. It is safe to say that after that trip, biology was no longer the focus of her diving experiences.

After moving to Los Angeles in 2014, Shannon finally lived by the ocean. She became a PADI and SDI scuba instructor, and so her interests slowly became focused on being a dive professional. After teaching scuba for a few years, it only made sense to also become involved in helping her dive students and other divers travel to explore their newfound hobby!

When she's not working, you'll find Shannon reading/hiking in Griffith Park near her home, attending a movie, eating and cooking lots of good food, or hanging with her dog, Milo.

safety stop

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Safety Stop Scuba is a podcast created by ocean lovers for divers & non-divers alike. We aim to foster a community of divers telling stories that educate and inspire others to dive into the ocean and protect our waters.

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