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Meet World Renowned Explorer and Diver John Chatterton

John Chatterton is one of the world’s most accomplished and well-known wreck divers. He was one of the co-hosts for 57 episodes of the History Channel’s Deep Sea Detectives television series, and has worked as a consultant to 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, and CBS. Prior to his career in television, John spent twenty years working as a commercial diver in and around New York City, and on September 11, 2001, was actually working on a project in the water underneath the World Financial Center, across the street from the Tower #1.

His passion has always been researching, locating, and diving the world’s shipwrecks. In 1991, the discovery and subsequent identification of the German submarine U-869, off the coast of New Jersey, was the subject of a television documentary, Hitler’s Lost Sub, a two-hour special for the popular NOVA series on PBS. This same story was the subject of a Random House bestselling book by Rob Kurson, Shadow Divers. It has been published in more than 23 languages, as well as an audio book. The movie rights to the international bestseller have been purchased by a major studio.

At present, there are a several ongoing wreck projects where John is involved. Chatterton makes his home in Boca Raton, Florida, where he also trains technical divers.

Thanks so much to John for sharing his story with us!!

Image Credit: Californa Diver Magazine

To learn more about John or to follow his adventures, DIVE into his WEBSITE.

1. What is your favorite shark and why?

My favorite shark is the Hammerhead shark! They always act like they are very cool, like they know they look cool!!! They never get mistaken for another shark species!

2. What is one species of shark you like to snorkel/dive with?

like diving with the nurse sharks, because they are like swimming puppy dogs. When I have been spearfishing, nurse sharks will come around and beg like my dogs at home!

3. Why did you start scuba diving? Shark diving?

Before I was a scuba diver, I was a free diver, and a spearo. I started scuba diving to give me more time to explore the underwater world. That experience made me want to become a working diver and learn to dive in a helmet. I have been incredibly fortunate to have had all the wonderful underwater opportunities that have come my way, with and without sharks!

Exploring a shipwreck Image Credit: Howard Ehrenberg

4. What has been a really cool/favorite underwater moment with sharks?

Once, I was working a project for TV, and we were doing a drift Decompression in water that was kind of green and murky. All of a sudden, there was a huge basking shark that appeared out of nowhere!! His tail was as tall as me. Almost immediately, there were more basking sharks!! In all there was like 20 basking sharks swimming around us, below us, and above us! They were very friendly, and curious!! It was an experience I will never forget!

5. Do you think diving and divers can help ocean conservation? How?

If divers do not help the environment, there will be no more diving. To keep diving we need to share what we see and convince those in a position to help the ocean, to do so!!!

6. What do you love most about diving with sharks?

To me, sharks always seem so confident and clever. Each species has a little bit different personality. Bull sharks are bullies, nurse sharks are buddies, blue sharks are sneaky, hammerheads are cool, and Great Whites are bosses. It is always fun to meet new friends.

John Chatterton records video of the ballast pile found at the Golden Fleece Wreck Site.

Image: Howard Ehrenberg

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