Training Staff and Boat Crew

The training staff and boat crew on board the Sea Experience harbor quite a mix of knowledge. They all have one thing in common though and that is their love for the sea. Each of our staff and crew members are experienced scuba divers. They all enjoy sharing their time on the water with our guests and students.

So without further ado, let us introduce you to the training staff and boat crew!

Bill Cole

Bill Cole
Owner

Captain Bill has been running dive/snorkel vessels for over 30 years and is one of the most experienced boat captain’s in South Florida. Bill started diving on his honeymoon in Grand Cayman in 1977 and it’s been hard to keep him out of the water ever since. Completing scuba instructor training in 1979, Bill began teaching diving at the University of Georgia. In 1988, Bill brought the first glass bottom boat to Fort Lauderdale that ran daily charter. He had spent the previous year training the fish on a shallow reef that he named “Fort Lauderdale Twin Ledges”. To this day the fish come to greet the boat when it arrives at the site.

Bill became a PADI Course Director in 1993, this is the highest instructor rating attainable with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). He has trained thousands of instructors who are now employed around the world. In 1993, Bill was among the first group of elite divers awarded the Platinum Pro 5000 certification by SSI (Scuba Schools International). Divers in this group have over 5000 SCUBA dives. Bill loves taking passengers out for tours to the coral reef whether it is in the water or just pointing out things of interest through the boat’s glass bottom windows.

Favorite Local Dive Site – Loves revisiting Willies Way which he helped find and name.

Favorite Local Restaurant – You can find him at Subway almost every day for a bite to eat.

Fort Lauderdale Diving

Treavor Bellandi
General Manager

From the moment he earned his scuba certification Hawaii in 1997, Treavor knew diving would be a lifelong passion. He has had the great fortune to dive in many locations around the world including The Red Sea, The Maldives and the Great Barrier Reef. Always in search of the elusive corkscrew anemone housing a Pederson shrimp, Treavor strives to find new and exciting aquatic life on each dive to capture in his log book. His favorite specialty to teach is Wreck Diver. Born and raised in Montana, Treavor enjoys the opportunity to share his passion in the South Florida sunshine.

Sea Experience Staff

David Denton
Director of Training

David come from the great state of Oklahoma. He joined the US Navy after graduation for High School in 1986. While on deployment in the Philippines, he had the opportunity to become a certified diver through SSI. Though did not taking advantage of the diving until he was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan in 1993. There he completed PADI Advanced Open Water through Divemaster and went on to become an Open Water Scuba Instructor in 1994. He certified several hundred divers there and was later transferred to Okinawa, Japan. He was a contract Scuba Instructor with Marine MWR.

David’s true goal was to be able to train Scuba Instructors. While living in St Louis he traveled back and forth to Fort Lauderdale, Fl to staff the Instructor Development Courses for three years. In 2017, David was selected to attend the Course Director Training Course and became a PADI Course Director. In April of 2018 David was invited and accepted the position of Director of Training at Sea Experience.

Favorite Local Dive Site – The Tracey

Favorite Local Restaurant: Lester’s

Sea Experience Staff

Captain Mateo Torres
Charter Manager

Captain Mateo is also a PADI Staff Instructor, Mateo enjoys scuba diving and sharing those experiences with others. Mateo’s passion is working on the ocean. He enjoys passing on the knowledge he has to students and to teach them to dive with respect to the marine life and to leave only bubbles! He has been diving since 2000 and became a PADI Instructor in 2006. In June 2016, Mateo became a PADI Course Director. Mateo has dived Florida and the Bahamas.

Favorite Local Dive Site – Can’t resist an exciting dive at Hog Heaven.

Favorite Local Hangout– Enjoys a relaxing evening at home with his dog.

Ryne Kriske

Ryne is a mythical creature among us, being born and raised in Florida, Hobe Sound to be exact. Living on the coast his whole life, Ryan developed a love for the ocean at a young age. Ryne has been diving for 11 years but his passion is not limited to the ocean, he generally enjoys anything that is outdoors. One of the things you may find him doing on his day off is going diving and spearfishing in other parts of Florida. Additionally, Ryan enjoys baseball, bowling and he knows sign language. Ryne earned his PADI Divemaster certification in February 2014 and soon after earned his PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor certification. His passion for teaching scuba has led him to earning the rating of PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer with the goal of earning PADI IDC Staff Instructor next.

Sea Experience Staff

Jayne Haas

A native New Englander, Jayne has been Sea Experience’s Career Development Administrator since December 2010, and is the expert on staff for all programs from the Veterans Administration (including Montgomery GI Bill and Post-911 VA benefits), British Military Resettlement, and Vocational Rehab for all 50 states.

Jayne is also the principal liaison for Sea Experience’s accreditation with the State of Florida Commission for Independent Education. Her knowledge and experience make certain that Sea Experience students receive their maximum funding and entitlements and are enabled to pursue an appropriate career development curriculum. Jayne is often the first point of contact for any student inquiring about training.

Sea Experience Staff

Josh Gutierrez

Hailing from the great state of Texas, Josh dedicated 12 years to the United States Navy as a Hospital Corpsman. Serving with multiple units in Camp Lejune, NC he traveled the world serving with the Marine Corps. Upon medical retirement from the Navy he decided to change course and try his hand at becoming a dive professional and was hooked immediately. Josh enjoys seeing the learning experience come to a student and see them catch the diving bug. His next goals in the diving world is getting TEC certified and TEC instructor rating.

Favorite Local Dive Site – Mercedes

Favorite Local Hangout – Is work a hangout?

Sea Experience Staff

David Shaw

Dave is from Ohio and served in the Army National Guard for 10 years before moving to Florida. After a year of diving in the legendary Red Sea area, Dave was inspired to begin Instructor training at Sea Experience in 2015.

Dave loves to train other dive professionals. So in 2017 he earned the PADI IDC Staff Instructor and the EFR Instructor Trainer ratings. These ratings enable him to be more involved with the Career Training Program at Sea Experience

Dave enjoys unlocking the potential of Career Program students. He believes the secret is simply personalized attention.

Zack Fowler

Zack, aka “Lobster Pockets” obtained his first diving certification in a muddy lake in Oklahoma for his 14th birthday. He came to Sea Experience upon medically retiring from the United States Army having served in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division as an M240 machine gunner. After graduating our Total Immersion Program, having reached the rating of Master Scuba Diver Trainer he was hired as a full time instructor. He spends almost every day either lobster diving or spearfishing and has turned the waters off the coast of Ft Lauderdale into his second home. Professionally, he enjoys working with students and helping them to become successful, competent and safe PADI Open Water Divers. He is working towards his regulator repair technician certification and hopes to one day work as an AquaLung sales representative .

Favorite Dive Site: Any reef during lobster season

Favorite Local Hangout: Waxeys Pub for poker night

Katherine Silver

Katherine is from Saratoga Springs, New York but her log book begins in Bonaire. She earned her Open Water and Advanced Open water certifications in Bonaire. Shortly after her Bonaire trip she returned to the frigid lake waters of New York to earn her Rescue Diver rating. A live-aboard trip to the Bahamas gave her many specialties and a Master Scuba Diver rating. From there her love of the ocean increased and she moved down to South Florida to study Marine Biology and Biology at Nova Southeastern University. While studying about marine life and traveling to New Zealand, Australia and the Galapagos she earned her Divemaster and Instructor certifications. Katherine is working towards becoming a Master Scuba Diver Trainer. She loves introducing new divers to the underwater world and sharing her passion with them is on of her favorite things to do.

Favorite dive site: Jay Scutti

Favorite local hangout: Dania Beach

Sea Experience Staff

Rob King

Robert started his competitive freediving career in 2006, representing the United States at the AIDA Team World Championships in Egypt.  Since then,he’s competed around the world as one of the world’s elite freedivers.Robert’s represented the U.S. at five world championships, and judged another four.  His 21 national freediving records—the most of any U.S. male diver—span all depth disciplines (CWT, CNF and FIM).  Robert was the first American to dive 90m (300’) on a single breath (both CWT and FIM), and the first American to 60 and 70m CNF.  He remains the only American male to hold all competition depth records simultaneously.  Other achievements include a podium finish at Vertical Blue, and 1st place overall at the prestigious Red Sea Triple Depth.  Robert is the only American to dive the arch in Dahab—freediving nearly 200’ down a blue hole, swimming 100’through a tunnel to the open sea, and returning nearly 200’ to the surface—on a single breath of air.

He’s past-Vice President of AIDA International—the international governing body for the sport of freediving—and one of its senior judges.

Robert has been teaching freediving since 2007, with five different agencies, and is a PADI SCUBA instructor.  Robert was the 1st AIDA instructor in the U.S., and remains its most senior instructor here.  He’s also one of a small number of PADI instructor trainers in the U.S., and teaches all levels of courses—from Level 1 through instructor—plus competition-level coaching and training.

Sea Experience Staff

Fernando Vannini

Fernando has been passionate about diving since he was 6 years old when he came across SCUBA at a country club back home in Brasil. He became PADI certified in 2010. He has been around the world traveling and acquiring knowledge from many different cultures. Fernando speaks four languages, loves teaching people about the underwater world and how to care for it so we will have it for generations to come. He is currently a Divemaster and EFR Instructor seeking to become a PADI Instructor very soon. He loves going deep and diving wrecks!

“If there is a place where I am always comfortable, that’d be underwater!”

Sea Experience Staff

Nick Faul

Nick is from the cold water of Ohio but his logbook includes the Bahamas, Cancun and many more Caribbean destinations. Nick joined us here at Sea Experience after retiring from the United States Army having served in Iraq. After graduating the Total Immersion Program and then reaching the rating of Master Scuba Diver Trainer he was hired as a full time Instructor. Nick enjoys playing music, spearfishing, hunting for lobster and introducing new divers to the underwater world.

Favorite dive site: The Stink Hole

Favorite Hangout: Stouts

Sea Experience Staff

Joe Weber

Joe was raised on Long Island ‘s great south bay, boating by age 7 and diving at age 17 off Fire Island Inlet. Married to his High School Sweetheart, raised 2 sons both aviators, divers and avid seamen. In 1980s Joe became a pilot and moved his family to Stella Maris, Bahamas where he established the Bahama Sports Club. His diving experience was highlighted with renowned diver Sylvia Earle and Peter Benchley, photographed by Stan Waterman, in filming Shark Reef for National Geographic. He is also featured in a Chips “Sharks” episode.  During this time, Joe transported vessels from Fl to Bahamas including 120Ft. vessel “Comerback”.   Joe’s passion has always been sharing the sea with children and his favorite day is on the beach with 5 grandkids, the next generation of Weber’s learning to dive.   He is proud to Captain for Sea Experience and share his passion of the sea with countless others.

Sea Experience Staff

Suzanna Sharkey

Suzanna began diving in a murky lake in Austin, TX. During a trip to Cozumel, she did her first ocean dive and fell in love with the sea. About a year later she became a PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructor. Throughout her diving career she has worked with three dive stores, the Boy Scout Sea Base in Islamorada, taught diving to juvenile offenders and conducted numerous group dive trips including one to Cuba. Now a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, Suzanna is thrilled to work with Sea Experience and spend as much time diving in the ocean as she can! Her passion is ocean conservation and coordinating local reef cleanups. Her favorite local reef is Barracuda Reef and also loves diving the Tracy wreck. When not diving, her favorite local hangout is Dania Beach with friends or Disney World (not necessarily local, but close enough!).