Pim is a passionate wreck diver, instructor trainer, teacher, and author who made headlines in 2008 for his world-record dive to the wreck of the Milano in Lago Maggiore, Italy to a depth of 236 meters (along with Mario Marconi and Alessandro Scuotto). His diving career began in 1983 with his university’s dive club (Tilburg University) in the Netherlands.
Over the past nearly 40 years, Pim hasn't stopped diving and has quite an impressive repertoire to show for it including accomplishing over 4,000 CCR dives and training more than 1,500 students (divers and instructors).
Pim’s vast experience over the years led him to eventually specialize in technical diving. He has participated in and helped organize CCR expeditions including the Bunaken/Coelacanth Expedition, Yamashiro Expedition, Carpathia Expedition, Viminale Expedition, Victoria Expedition, Garibaldi Expedition, and of course, the Britannic Expedition. In addition to his world wreck dive in Lago Maggiore, in 2009, Pim made the (unofficial) deepest dive on a mCCR (mini rEvo III). He may be the only diver to have accomplished dives deeper than 200 meters with different CCRs. He also became President of DIRrebreather http://www.dirrebreather.com. And in 2016, Pim started to train Special Forces units for various countries.
Throughout his career, Pim has published several books on (technical) diving and various articles in Neptune (Russian) and Duikmagazine (Dutch) magazines. His books include: DIRrebreather Manual, DIRrebreather Instructor Manual, DIRrebreather Student Manual, DIRrebreather Ultimate CCR Manual, DIRreberather Rescue Manual, Rebreathers Duiken Zonder Bellen, Technisch Duiken Encyclopedie, Tekdiving Een Uitdagende Manier Van Duiken.
These days, he’s traded his Noble M12 GTO 3R for a Lotus Evora. He is a teacher for a masters program (MBA) in The Netherlands. He appreciates a good glass of wine. And he’s a dog-lover with four pugs: Trimix, Nitrox, Argon and Heliox.
What (or who) persuaded you to become a professional diver?
Thunderbird 4 (International Rescue's technologically advanced submarine, with a maximum operating depth of 30,000 feet).
Describe your biggest challenge when diving.
As an instructor, teaching divers not to make the same mistakes I made during my diving career and making sure they become better divers than me :-))
Which diving achievement are you most proud of?
World Record Deepest Wreck dive in 2008 (still not beaten): the wreck of the Milano at Lago Maggiore (236 meters with Ouroboros eCCR).
What was your first diving experience like?
Being in a different (silent) world.
Why do you prefer rebreather?
It has efficient gas usage, and makes extreme dives possible.
What's your favorite diving gear?
For many years now, it’s the CCR (I was the first CCR instructor in NL). My favorite CCR now is the Liberty.
What's your favorite diving spot?
Any place with water. And wrecks! (Britannic, U455, etc.). Recently, I dove in La Reunion and South Africa (Boesmansgat). In NL: Vinkeveen Zandeiland 4, Austria (Attersee), and Germany (Hemmoor, Bodensee).