Stefan started diving at the age of 6 through his father. In 1992 he did his first “official” course in the Nelos dive club “Amphora”. Since than he moved on doing courses like nitrox and trimix, and he started diving an Inspiration rebreather in 2009, and started photographing in 2013.
Meanwhile he developed a great interest in wrecks and researching the history of the wrecks in the archives.
He spent many dives on wrecks in the North sea (This year he was there when a virgin VOC ship from 1661 was found, and they are pushing to get a TV documentary done in 2022), the English channel, where he is part of the expedition-team wich has located and identified many shipwrecks, and abroad in Sardinia, Portugal and Cuba just to name a few. He was involved in different successful expeditions searching for new wrecks, like the identification of the 1852 “Josephine Willis”.
In 2014 he also obtained his full cave ccr certificate.
Since then, Stefan has participated in many cave dives as in Sardinia, France and Spain, and he became a “specialist” in looking for new Belgian mine sites, and he is photo-documenting them often with breathtaking pictures!
He is the leader of the “Mine Exploration Team”, a dedicated team who does official mine research and documentation.
Meanwhile Stefan has written more than 50 articles for international magazines:
DUIKEN magazine (NL) : Permanent writer, monthly article
Wetnotes magazine (DE) : Permanent writer, article nearly every issue
Diver magazine (UK) : Frequent writer
Diver 24 (PL) : Permanent writer, article every issue (including covershot)
Neptune magazine (RU) : Frequent writer
Magazine Plongez (FR): Frequent writer
Duikersgids (BENELUX): Permanent photographer (including covershot)
Stefan has co-written 4 books:
Duiken naar goud en kunstschatten (NL + ENG)
Duiken naar het onbekende
Duiken naar oorlogswrakken
And is about to publish the first book of a serie:
Shipwrecks of the Dover Straits
And a photo-book on the museum mine project “Au Coeur de l’ardoise”.
Stefan has also been the driving force of the dive show “Tekdive-Europe” in Belgium, but due to circomstances, he started a succesfull new show “Dive-Expo” in 2018, wich will be a yearly show in fall, based in Antwerp, Belgium.
What (or who) persuaded you to become a professional diver?
Since I started my own business 6 years ago, I included a part of it as professional diver, and slowly building it. I work as a photographer, and I write for several diving magazines as Duiken, Wetnotes, Diver magazine,…
Last year I had the chance to work for Historic England for survey of a wooden sailing ship!
Describe your biggest challenge when diving.
It depends on the type of diving obviously: it can be the cold, during a long and deep mine dive with long decompression, or currents while diving the shipwrecks in the English Channel, or the ”pressure” to get a good shot in harsh conditions on a bad visibility day….
Which diving achievement are you most proud of?
I have few, as the identification of several wooden shipwrecks with the Dover diving team or the start of the ‘Mine Exploration Team’, where we are granted permission to do official research of the many mine sites in Belgium and off course, becoming a member of the Explorers Club.
What was your first diving experience like?
My dad too me on my first dive off the island of Ischia in Italy. Even in shallow waters the bottom was littered with artifacts from the roman era, and I didn’t knew where to look first! Ever since I knew that was what I wanted to keep doing!
Why do you prefer rebreather?
As lately I am doing loads of mine dives, where often we are the first visitors since the place flooded, the lack of bubbles helps a lot to keep the visibility good! And the sidemount rebreather allows me to squeeze through small passages in the mines.
What's your favorite diving gear?
The rebreather, and my heated undergarment to keep me warm!
What's your favorite diving spot?
Recently we started to document a huge mine wich is 100m deep with many extraction chambers and crystal clear water, an absolutely stunning place with still loads to discover.