Nuno Gomes was born in Lisbon, he now lives in New York. Growing up on the Portuguese coast he practically lived in the sea and learned to swim and spearfish in the temperamental Portuguese Atlantic. His father who was disgruntled with the dictatorship in Portugal relocated his family to South Africa when Nuno was 14 years old.They settled in Pretoria. Landlocked … Therefore, cave diving was a natural progression. Nuno joined and pioneered many cave dive expeditions. He dived in all the known water filled caves in South Africa and Namibia. The 23rd of August 1996 saw the Deepest Cave Dive record being broken by Nuno Gomes when he dived to 282.6 m / 927 ft in Bushmansgat cave (Northern Cape, South Africa), a water filled cave at an altitude of 1550m above sea level. This represents a decompression schedule for a dive to a depth of 337 m/1105.7 ft, at sea level. Nuno was subsequently also awarded the Guinness World Record for Deepest Sea Dive – Along with his team Nuno achieved an actual record depth of 321.81 m/ 1055.86 ft in the Red Sea (Dahab), June 2005.
Shareen, Nuno’s wife, is a film producer from New Yor k City. She has worked on many documentary programs for broadcast. These include ” The Murder of Laci Peterson” and “Prison Town U.S.A”, a feature length documentary about prison expansion for the American P.O.V. strand on PBS, “Families: The Wonder of Toddlers” also for PBS, “Uncle Sam Wants You!”, a 2 hour special for A&E following US Marines as they find young recruits, the Food Network specials “After Midnight”, and “Take This Job…!”, a 13 part series for A&E on how Americans make a living. Shareen was also line producer on two independent feature films and a 13 episode dramatic series for television. Shareen has been field producing all the documentary films directed by Elena Konstantinou since 2003. She graduated from St. Petersburg State University, Russia with an MA in Russian language and literature in 1994, and from Washington State University with a BA in French and Russian in 1989.Shareen met Nuno and his team while working on the film “Beyond Blue: Mankind’s Deepest Dive”, which documented Nuno’s 2005 world record dive in the Red Sea. The best part of working on that film was the opportunity to meet her future husband, Nuno!
ELENA KONSTANTINOU: Documentary Director and Producer
Elena is a documentary filmmaker, lawyer, and Technical diver. Her passion for deep diving and filmmaking converged during the making of the documentary film “Beyond Blue: Mankind’s Deepest Dive”, when she was invited by Nuno Gomes and his team to be the exclusive documentarian of his world record Scuba dive attempt in Egypt’s Red Sea. Her previous documentary film, “My Abyss”, broadcasted in Russia, Israel, Europe, and North America investigates why the beautiful, but mysterious Blue Hole diving site on the Red Sea in Egypt claims the greatest numbers of divers’ deaths in the world. Recently, Elena filmed the events at “Big Splash” in Lake Maggiore, Italy for a special RTVi news report, and a special documentary report about the race to dive the Yamashiro wreck, the IJN Battleship, sunken in the Philippines during WWII. When not diving the world’s most magnificent dive sites, Elena is busy producing her next documentary film about the Great Pyramid for RTVi. A native of Russia, Elena received a masters in law from the prestigious Moscow State University. She now lives in both the United States and Israel with her husband her two sons and stepson.
Pieter holds an MSc degree in chemistry and a LLB degree and is an attorney specialising in patent law.He started diving in 1988 in the Cape waters during his studies. He qualified as a Dive master and assisted in training of open water divers for the Stellenbosch Underwater Club.In 1998 he moved to Pretoria and he took up cave and technical deep diving. The highlight of his technical diving exploits was his discovery of coelacanths in October 2000 at a depth of 105m off the coast of Sodwana Bay, and the organising of follow up expeditions to Sodwana Bay to film and prove the existence of the discovered coelacanths. He is also a keen underwater videographer focusing on filming in submerged caves and at extreme depths.He has been invited to join Nuno’s team in the Red Sea to reclaim the overall SCUBA depth record.
THEO VAN EEDEN
Theo is a Coastal Patrol Unit Inspector with the South African Police Service Water Wing unit in Cape Town. He assists with body recovery and has recovered 750 bodies during his services. He is an acclaimed and respected Police Diver throughout the diving community.He has 2600 dives and is a Trimix and cave, manpower instructor. In 1994 he assisted Rein Oertel in his world record of 215 hours underwater. Theo assisted and supported Nuno Gomes during his first world record dive to 282.6m in 1996 and proved to be valuable due to his experienced in extended dive times at depth. In November 2001 he supported Verna van Schaik during her world record cave dive to 186m at Bushmansgat.Theo has been invited to join Nuno’s team yet again in the Red Sea world record depth attempt.
DR GARETH LOWNDES
Dr Gareth Lowndes obtained his PhD in 1994 from Bath University, UK. In 1998 he accepted an appointment at Wits Medical School, Johannesburg. He currently works in the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology as a pharmaceutics lecturer and director of postgraduate studies.Following a BSAC SCUBA course at Bath University in 1992 his interest in diving was rekindled in 1998, when he joined Wits Underwater Club. Gareth has completed over 400 dives and is CMAS – trimix and cave certified. In addition to holding the Chair at Wits Underwater Club for three years, Gareth is an active instructor. In November 2001 he participated in the “Extreme Dream” dives at Bushmansgat, which afforded Verna van Schaik the women’s world cave record. In 2002 and 2003 he was an invited diver on the SA-Polish Bushmansgat expeditions led by Nuno Gomes.
Dave Wilkie started diving with Nuno Gomes during Nuno’s world record dive in 2005 in the Red Sea, Egypt. He and Nuno also had the opportunity to dive together during the “Big Splash” expedition in Lake Maggiore, Italy in September 2006. Since a child, Dave has always skindived and while at university in 1990, became SCUBA qualified .After graduating from university, he worked with the National Parks and Wildlife service as a seasonal ranger and longline tuna fisherman. He then headed to Africa to do climbing and canoeing expeditions in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zaire. Within a year, he settled in Zimbabwe working for a big game hunting outfit where he eventually became a guide and professional hunter. In this time, Dave also did some exploration diving in Lake Malawi on never before seen sites. He spent a total of 6 years in Africa. His professional diving began in the Red Sea of Egypt where Dave worked solid for 6 months as a guide/divemaster. It was here that he became very interested in deep air diving well below recommended recreational limits. While using as much caution and safety techniques as available to divers at that time, he realised that to continue safely and further, he would need specialised technical training using different equipment and breathing gases like helium. In the following years, Dave became a scuba instructor and underwent training in technical diving. He was fortunate to be trained by John Bennett (at the time, the world record holder for deepest dive on open circuit scuba). Through John, he learnt the use of helium as a breathing gas and became an advanced trimix diver John also taught him the skills and procedures to explore underwater wrecks safely. Having dived a great many locations around the world for work either as a guide or with underwater filming, Dave has logged well over 1000hrs underwater. He has also been a member of many sailing expeditions to locations, including Greenland, Iceland, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, and the Sinai peninsula, some of which involved filmmaking. In Dave’s native Australia, he has been involved in the camel and crocodile industry. His has worked in documentary production with BBC, Discovery Channel, and RTVi.
Professionally a project administrator with a BCom degree. She started her diving career in 2001 with Nuno Gomes being her instructor. She accompanied Nuno on the Coelacanth expedition in 2001 and the Polish expedition in 2002 and 2003 where she acquired valuable experience.Lenné is managing all administration functions regarding the World Record Attempt. She assisted Nuno as support diver and as surface support marshal.
DR HERMIE BRITZ
Dr. Hermie Britz is a trauma physician and runs a successful Trauma practice. Hermie is Deputy Director of DAN South Africa and is also a diving and hyperbaric physician.She is a qualified NAUI diving instructor and has been diving for 6 years with about 400 dives under her belt. She was actively involved in representing DAN as the diving physician on the Coelacanth expedition at Sodwana Bay during May 2001 and was the diving physician for Verna van Schaik’s successful woman’s world cave record dive to 186m at Bushmansgat in November 2001.Hermie is conducting the South African study on the risk of decompression illness associated with a patent foramen ovale (PFO) in divers. She is currently studying aerospace and environmental medicine.Hermie’s expertise will prove invaluable during Nuno’s world record Red Sea attempt.
Craig is a patent attorney by profession. His first training dives were done with Nuno Gomes as his instructor and he has been diving with Nuno as a buddy and friend ever since.Craig started his diving career 17 years ago and he has done over 1300 dives of which approximately 700 are cave and trimix dives.He has assisted and supported Nuno on virtually all his world record cave and deep dives and was one of the five trimix divers on the successful Coelacanth expedition at Sodwana Bay during May 2001. He also assisted Verna van Schaik during her woman’s world cave record dive to 186m at Bushmansgat in November 2001.Craig is a CMAS cave and trimix instructor.
Joseph is currently an independent I/T consultant specializing in the Lotus Notes platform.Joseph has been diving for approximately 11 years, and is an active member of Wits Underwater club for all that time. He has done approx. 700 dives, the majority over 40m, and at least 200 below 50m. He is a qualified ‘technical diver’ and regularly does cave and/or deep dives requiring multiple decompression stops. He is a CMAS 2* instructor and has assisted on a number of technical courses as well.Joseph has been a member of the deep diving team that supported Nuno Gomes on a number of expeditions over a number of years, which culminated in the world depth record at 282.6m at Bushmansgat.In addition , he was part of the group that supported Verna Van Schaick in her women’s Africa Record of 143m , and her later 186m world cave diving record for women in Nov 2001. Where he provide deep cover at 100m.More recently he acted as deep cover to Nuno and Leszek on a dive to 157m on which he met them at 90m.