DAN Ambassadors

Whether underwater or on the surface, DAN Europe Ambassadors represent the Organisation's values of diving safety and ocean care.

Meet our special crew!

Andy Torbet

Country
I’m based in the UK and originally from the Highland of Scotland.

Diving Spec 
I do the full range of diving from technical and cave diving to freediving but I am most active recently in doing long, multi-day cave diving projects requiring underground camping between sumps and also a lot of adventure freediving (freediving in the less visited locations like mountain lakes and rivers).

Why you do it 
I love exploring. Whether it’s freediving in high altitude lakes, deep inside unexplored flooded caves or unknown shipwrecks on the ocean floor it's that that drives me rather than any specific discipline within our sport.

Why DAN
I am very interested in what the human body, and specifically my body, can do. Pushing the boundaries and discovering, safely, where those boundaries are is important on bigger, deeper, longer, technical dives. The investment and support DAN gives to investigating where the safe limits lie and how we can keep progressing our sport safely is important.

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Pascal Van Erp

Country
I live in The Netherlands but I spend a lot of my time travelling and diving all over Europe. I am the most active around the Mediterranean Sea and the North Sea.

Diving Spec 
I am a CCR & Technical diver with a preference for ocean diving. My specialty is marine conservation in a broad sense. This includes cleaning up waste, identifying problems with the aim of making them visible to a wider public but also conducting (scientific) research.

Why you do it 
I have dived all over the world and my focus is always on underwater pollution and disturbances that need to be dealt with. Since 2007 I have been working on the removal of lost fishing gear in the North Sea and started my first formal project in 2009. With marine conservation running through my veins, in 2012, I decided to devote my diving exclusively to environmental protection and established the Ghost Diving Foundation with the aim of tackling the problem of lost gear on a global scale with volunteer divers.

Why DAN
I've been a DAN member since the first day I started diving simply because I believe in its mission. I hope that with our work we can also support DAN Europe with data and the experience we have gained in our specific field in recent years.

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Olga Martinelli

Country
Italy.

Diving Spec 
I am a scuba instructor, but my main passion is to shoot videos and pics and show the beauty of the UW part of the world!

Why you do it 
Diving has been my life since I have a memory. It's the only thing that NEVER ceases to bring me joy. The happiest moments of my whole existence were underwater!

Why DAN
I firstly knew about DAN at the beginning of my UW journey like everyone else, as just insurance. Later on I had to know about ALL the research and the incredible efforts it puts in finding out how our bodies react and behave while diving, which is extremely fascinating to me, and still it is not a clear thing. Plus, it also tries to help out our Oceans so... There is no reason to ask!

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Arkadiusz Srebnik

Country
I was born and raised in Poland, however 4 years ago I moved to Malta, where I had the opportunity to fully explore my interest in underwater photography.

Diving Spec 
I am a PADI and SSI instructor, cave and tech diver. I've engaged in the activities of an environmental NGO 'Zibel', which expanded my view on what diving can be. 

Why you do it 
I was always interested in history, nature and photography. Being born in Poland, which is an amazing place to experience history first hand while diving, hooked me on exploring the underwater world. I made a decision to use my passion for photography and allow others to enjoy the beauty of diving. After years of diving I realised that I can use my skills to spread awareness on environmental issues we face nowadays.

Why DAN
I feel that the main goal of DAN is providing divers with the most updated knowledge on very important matters - safety, health and environmental protection. Starting bachelor's studies 'Science in Diving Safety Management' made me realise how crucial the work of DAN is for the diving community. As a DAN Ambassador I am able to spread DAN's work and share my knowledge and passion with others.

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Sanne Volja

Country
Belgium. Travelling a lot!

Diving Spec 
Cave/mine and wreck diving. Normoxic 60 metre range and ccr diver.
Other passions: caving/speleology.

Why you do it 
The feeling it gives me. It is the closest feeling I can relate to pure happiness, most peaceful. It takes away all the stress out of my life and makes me a better person. I started diving out of fear of the oceans and turned into my biggest passion. The challenge and that you can train to make yourself a better/safer diver is as well something that motivates me.

Why DAN
Safety is one of the most important things in diving: the safer you can dive, the more you will enjoy!
DAN is more than just insurance and provides us, as divers, information we would like to know for better/safer dives. To be able to share this information to my followers, dive buddies and students is an absolute honour and is necessary. Thanks to DAN I learn a lot of new things and isn't the possibility to keep learning an incredible thing in life?

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Joanna Wyrebek

Country
United Kingdom.

Diving Spec 
Rebreather diver loving caves, mines and wrecks. Passionate about our Oceans, sea life future and conservation.

Why you do it 
Diving has changed and shaped my life. I can't live without it. It's created me, made me who I am today. Together with Sara and Sanne we've created The Cavettes group to be able to share our passion.

Why DAN
Joining DAN's family will help me to share Oceans awareness wider. I truly believe we can help our Blue Planet and the best way to do it is to educate, spread the word and unite together because TOGETHER WE CAN.

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Ivana Orlovic

Country
Serbia and all around the world.

Diving Spec 
Scuba and freediving instructor, underwater model, photographer and videographer. 

Why you do it 
I have dived my whole life. Since my earliest childhood, I simply enjoyed being underwater, as well as introducing other people to the underwater world.

Why DAN
Because DAN is the widest network which cares about divers' safety.

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Janez Kranjc

Country
Serbia and all around the world.

Diving Spec 
Scuba instructor, photographer and videographer, drone operator. 

Why you do it 
I started diving for underwater photography. However, very soon it turned from a hobby to a profession. I often say that I have the best job in the world – because I love it.

Why DAN
I have always admired those who move forward without boundaries. DAN does exactly that throughout its operations and research. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something like that.

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Edd Stockdale

Country
Finland  (also Sweden) though I am Australian.

Diving Spec 
My main interest from a professional standpoint is in scientific diving methodology. This especially applies to advanced diving techniques applied to research work including rebreathers, overhead and developing techniques to meet research requirements. In this role I run the Finnish Scientific Diving Academy at the University of Helsinki.

Outside of work my main passion in diving is wreck and mine exploration, especially in the Nordic and Baltic regions in addition to teaching in these and other areas.

Why you do it 
It's hard to say why I dive. It started with a childhood fascination with marine life (later seeing me studying marine zoology) but that developed and changed. Part of it is the excitement of going to new places, seeing things that so few if any people have before and sharing that with the world which is the exploration side. I like the challenge in some cases, such as learning new skills or developing techniques to address a specific research question. Mainly though I feel a sense of peace when submerged whether relaxed diving on a tropical reef, collecting samples or data for a project or exploring new territory deep in a flooded mine or cave.

Pretty much diving is part of everything in my life; career, lifestyle, enjoyment, holidays, family pretty much everything.

Why DAN
DAN has always been a vital component of the diving world, especially in their research network. While many divers do not realise it, the work that DAN does affects their diving in a positive way with studies contributing understandings in diver health or purely covering them when taking a diving trip with insurance and a support line. As part of my goals in diving are to train divers to be safer, have more knowledge outside their basic dive programs and move through their diving career regardless of level without being scared of representing an organisation whose goals are the same makes sense. 

Being asked to be an Ambassador for DAN Europe is a great opportunity to work closer with the foundation and help raise awareness of the work it does in the general diving community, for which I feel honoured.

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Pol Ramos

Country
Spain.

Diving Spec 
Since I was a child I have had a very special connection with the ocean. I grew up watching Jacques Cousteau documentaries and I always knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to the sea. Therefore I graduated as a biologist and became a diving instructor. After several years travelling around the world, where I was able to dive in incredible places and learn from every experience, I decided to start Odicean, a project that aims to conserve and protect the oceans through diving expeditions and courses.

Why you do it 
I can't conceive of any other lifestyle than underwater. I need to be in direct contact with nature and enjoy the ocean's wonders every day. Diving brings me peace, joy, well-being... and I feel I have the responsibility and duty to take care of our oceans and the creatures that inhabit them through education.

Why DAN
DAN exists to help and protect divers, just as we exist to conserve and protect the oceans. Sharing the same values and philosophy not only means that our paths have crossed in this adventure, but that together we can spread this love for the ocean and try to raise awareness worldwide. We are the last generation capable of reversing the current situation that is disrupting the natural balance.

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Gador Muntaner

Country
I'm from Barcelona, Spain and the Mediterranean will always be my favourite... At the moment I live more than half of the year in the paradise that Cousteau called the aquarium of the world: the Sea of Cortez.

Diving Spec 
I am a PADI and SSI diving instructor, an Aida 4* freediver and an oceanographer. I currently use diving and freediving for my work, for scientific and marine conservation purposes. I try to make people feel the same way I feel about the ocean: not only the fascination for its wonders, but also the need to protect it as our greatest treasure.

Why you do it 
Because the ocean gave us life and I want to thank it for that. When I am far from the sea, I feel that something is missing. Moreover, it is unfortunately a great unknown, despite the fact that, curiously, we live on a planet with more water than land. My mission is to make it known, and to make people understand the importance of its survival for our own survival.

Why DAN
In order to continue fulfilling my mission, safety is essential in all my underwater activities. Every year I travel to different countries and continents, where there are different sanitary systems, protocols, etc. With DAN, the barriers are broken: wherever I am, I am covered if I have any problem. Also, people tend to think that insurance is only good for very serious accidents, which is not the case. I, for example, have often had hearing problems due to constant changes of seas, temperatures, etc., and I have been able to solve them quickly thanks to DAN's attention. Beyond insurance, DAN continually advances the knowledge and science related to diving and health, and makes any updates available to me. Also, another of DAN Europe's goals is marine conservation, so I like to be able to move in the same direction.

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Rafa Fernandez

Country
Born in Madrid, Spain. Since I was a child I have been fortunate to know many seas of the world, but the Mediterranean and in particular the Herradura has been the area where I have done more dives. Currently I spend a good part of the year with Gador in the Sea of Cortez, Baja California.

Diving Spec 

Despite being an engineer, my passion and work is underwater imaging and outreach. I am a FEDAS-CMAS 2 Star Instructor and a Professional Shallow Diver by the CBB, I have been diving all my life in the sea and my main goal is to raise awareness through my images of the importance of protecting the oceans.

Why you do it 
I have always seen the sea as the most impressive and mysterious place on the planet.
The animal's own curiosity to discover and explore something so wild is one of the things that moves me.
Out there you live moments that make you feel the greatest emotions of your life. It changes the way you think and see the world and you become somehow addicted to it, it's like being in love.
But the most important thing is undoubtedly what moves you to keep doing it. Once you feel that great love, the next step is inevitably to worry about the welfare of what you love.
And here we already know what happens. You see how fast we are killing life in the seas and that still pushes you to fight harder to prevent it.

Why DAN
We are lucky to do what we love. Diving is a safe sport. But when you travel to places as remote as the ones we travel to, hundreds of miles away from any hospital and without that safety we are used to, you need something behind you to make you feel safe. That is DAN for me.
When you also increase the distance and the complexity of the trips, or the work as you learn pushes you to go further, the risks are undeniably greater. Small mistakes that in other contexts might be easy to fix can become very complicated.

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Claudia Schmitt and Hendrik S.Schmitt (The Jetlagged)

Country
Our home country is Germany, but we’re regularly travelling all around the world and we dive mostly outside of Germany. After more than 10 years going back and forth, we consider Indonesia our second home, but we also know other places really well, for example Iceland, Gozo (Malta) or Elba. But the Coral Triangle in SouthEast Asia, specifically in Indonesia, is definitely our favourite place to dive. The underwater world there is just mind-blowing!

Diving Spec 
We’re both certified as Divemasters. Hendrik is diving in sidemount configuration and is very happy with it. The comfort and additional air, and also the safety of being able to control his tanks, makes sidemount the perfect set-up for him. Claudia continues to dive in backmount configuration, she already has the large underwater camera with her. Besides exploring the ocean and discovering amazing underwater worlds, our biggest passion is filming underwater and telling stories about protecting the ocean. 


Why you do it 
Both of us have always felt a strong connection to the ocean. When we were kids, each of our parents always took us on beach holidays, where we spent most of the time in the ocean, swimming, snorkelling and so on. Many years later, we were on a holiday together, and decided that we wanted to learn scuba diving. That was when our world was completed. Being underwater feels so natural to us. Diving allows us to explore a world that is hidden to most people. It’s both adventure and meditation. 

We were overwhelmed by the immeasurable beauty of the underwater world, but soon also confronted with the vulnerability of the ocean and its unique ecosystems. With our own eyes, we saw the problems our ocean is facing, for example pollution, climate crisis, coral bleaching, overfishing and species extinctions. We decided to become ambassadors of the underwater world and use our cameras and skills to focus on documentary films about environmental issues and on the conservation of marine habitats. After all, the ocean is our planet’s fundamental life support system, and we want to raise awareness that protecting the ocean is not just about the beauty of the ocean, it is about our very own survival on this planet.

Why DAN
DAN shares the same views about scuba diving and the role of scuba divers in the ocean. We work on a highly professional level, so it was obvious for us to work together with professionals as well. DAN is the perfect partner for us, regarding the long time we are underwater and on travels. For us, DAN is not just an insurance. The fact that they are doing research on diving physics is very important to us too: Scuba diving in the ocean is a bit like being an astronaut, floating in outer space, relying on technical equipment for survival. We appreciate that DAN is constantly striving to make diving safer for everyone. We are extremely happy to be part of the DAN family, this big family of explorers, adventurers and ambassadors of the ocean. Being a part of DAN makes us feel at home in the same way that being in the ocean does. 

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Ellen Cuylaerts

Country
I was born in Belgium and now live in United Kingdom, West Sussex.

Diving Spec 
Full Cave Diver RAID, Underwater & Wildlife Photographer, Ocean Ambassador. 

Why you do it 
Out of passion! The ocean is our source of life, helps us heal, I want to give back by helping to bring awareness about the challenges faced!

Why DAN
DAN Europe helped me out after an undeserved case of DCI at the beginning of my diving, which made me very appreciative of dive insurance and I believe it should be required for every diver in  every country. An accident can happen for many reasons out of our control and when it happens professional support and assistance is a huge relief. DAN Europe’s Dive safety campaigns, checklists, education and research are valuable for every diver, every level. To know your own limits is very important in dive safety and continuous education too. We have to take responsibility to be the best we can be in what we do and DAN Europe delivers a lot of the tools. I’m very honoured to be an ambassador for DAN!

Instagram

Boaz Samorai

Country
Israel, Eilat - on the red sea.

Diving Spec 
I'm a PADI examiner, Tec trainer & freediver but most of all I love my snorkel mask and fins.

Why you do it 
My biggest passion is underwater photography and being in the presence of the wild animals of the underwater world. Diving is just a means for me to be down there as close as possible to the moment and I don't really care whether It's a snorkel, regulator or rebreather in my mouth.

Why DAN
There are many dive insurance companies. I choose DAN because of the knowledge and passion for the ocean that the people in the Organisation have. When I started diving professionally I was amazed how little do we know about the effects of scuba on us humans and I really liked the information DAN EU is studying and sharing with the community on a regular basis. I am proud to be a part of the team.

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Andrea Zuccari

Country
Egypt: where I live and run a freediving center.
Italy: country of origin and where I spend a couple of months a year.
Europe/World: where I teach equalization workshops.

Diving Spec 
Freediving, recreational diving, technical diving, underwater photography.

Why you do it 
I started scuba diving out of passion, which became my job. Later, while I was a diving instructor, during a day off I tried freediving and I fell in love with it completely. I started freediving every day of my free time. A year later I participated in my first World Championship and then became a freediving instructor. This passion also became my job.

Why DAN
Since the beginning of my diving activities I became a member of DAN. A few years ago we created a series of courses together on Equalization: EqualEasy. I became a DAN Ambassador because we share the same mission: To make diving and freediving safer and more accessible for everyone.

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Tomasz Michura

Country
I reside in both Poland and Italy where I carry out sidemount courses all year round.

Diving Spec 
I specialise mainly in sidemount diving and my passion is using this equipment in a diverse underwater environment. I believe that, contrary to some biassed opinions, SM diving can easily be utilised not only in caves but  is also a very user-friendly system for open water, sea and quarry diving. Obviously, on condition it is wisely and accurately trained. 

Why you do it 
I have fallen in love with sidemount and its overall beauty, its simplicity and its holistic characteristics. I take delight in analysing its potentials and have committed myself  to mastering this way of diving and develop my personal skills using it. It is a type of diving that  is really rewarding, offering you the feeling of lightness, security and liberty of movement.

Why DAN
Ever since I started diving DAN has been the synonym of a reliable, respectable and solid Organisation that aims not only at providing people with insurance coverage but also an association that does its best to do research into the safety of diving to the best of its ability. DAN’s reputation and treatment of its customers speak for themselves. DAN never lets you down.

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Óscar de Borja

Country
Spain and Azores Islands.

Diving Spec 
I’m a Marine Biologist eager to discover the wonders of the oceanic world, focused on making people aware of the beauty and fragility of the world in which we live.
I work as a Divemaster and Discover Scuba Diving Leader in Ponta Delgada, Azores Islands in Portugal and now I’m studying the Master of Science in Applied blue biotechnology in the Catholic University of Valencia.
I'm also an Environmental educator at The Gravity Wave S.L, a social company that works very hard to clean the ocean from plastic and transform all that material into new design products based on a circular economy model, with the mission of furnishing the future.

Why you do it 
My family and friends have always told stories of me being drawn by the ocean. Even without knowing how to walk, every time I saw it, I would go straight into it, as if it was calling me.
When I was 13 years old I got my Open Water Diver Junior. I remember how peaceful it was underwater. I felt it was my place and I knew I had to dedicate my life to the ocean. From that moment on, it was clear to me, I had to do my best and become the greatest marine biologist I could be.

Why DAN
When I first started diving I remember looking at the red and white flag on the boat and thinking: "Wow, these oxygen kits can save your life". Once I joined DAN, I started to look more into what they were doing, and I found it amazing to see that they were also working to promote ocean conservation, sustainable development and diving medicine research. A few years later I started collecting DAN stickers thinking about the endless possibilities I would have if one day I could work with them. Finally this dream has come true and I can't wait to start collaborating and further promote our values together.

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