I’m a 45 years old guy from Belgium. I work as a military in the airforce.
I’m an underwater cave explorer, and active diving instructor for IANTD.
My diving carreer started when I was around 32 years in Egypt on vacation with a Try-out dive. I immediately was so impressed by the underwater world that the passion never left.
I joined a dive club in Belgium and that’s how the ball started rolling. I became an Instructor for IANTD, which is where I started my professional career, under the watchful eye of my mentor Erik Wouters. I became more interested in cave/mine diving and deep diving.
When I’m not teaching new students, I’m always exploring new mines, especially in Belgium. Last year we discovered an old slatemine in Belgium called Laplet. This project was news on National TV. I am the founder and owner of Descent technical diving. I have also written some arcicles for several magazines such as: Plongez! - Wetnotes - Perfect diver – Hippocampe - Diver magazine US - scubadiver etc - OZ diver…
What (or who) persuaded you to become a professional diver?
I wanted to become an instructor to pass on my passion for the underwater world to my children. But this further escalated by my mentor, Erik Wouters, into deep and cave diving. So now I pass on my passion to my students.
I owe my passion for underwater photography to Vic Verlinden. It was thanks to him that I took the first steps towards photography.
Describe your biggest challenge when diving:
my greatest challenge is to pas on to people what I see with my eyes through the lens of my camera. I want to let people who don’t dive themselves, enjoy and admire the beauty in this world but from a distance. You can show people places they don’t know exist or introduce them places they can probably never see themselves.
Which diving achievement are you most proud of?
I am most proud of rediscovering "Laplet" mine. After more than 100 years, we were the first people to set foot there again. The feeling that you get when you can lay the first lines again, to admire the beauty, is still my greatest achievement.
What was your first diving experience like?
My first diving experience was in Egypt, Taba.
I was on holiday together with my wife, and we were going to do a snorkelling trip like many people do over there. But on the way to the snorkelling site, I saw some people preparing bottles and getting explanations, so I asked, can I also participate which was of course no problem? They put my gear on, I jumped into the water, and could admire the underwater world from close by. The interaction of the fish is still etched on my mind. I came back up and shouted to my wife that I was going to do this more often.
Why do you prefer rebreather?
in the first place, the silence. Rebreather diving gives me so much peace. not only the silence, but also the gas consumption. diving with a rebeather gives you more time, especially in the area where I spend most of my time, the caves and mines.
What’s your favorite diving gear?
My Divesoft Liberty CCR, and for keeping me warm in the cold waters, my heated underwear.
What’s your favorite diving spot?
i don't really have a favourite place, as long as i'm underwater, i'm at peace. of course, i prefer the silence of caves and the history of old mines.