John Dalla-Zuanna Receives OZTek 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award

OZTek 2015 Technical Diver of the Year, OZTek 2015 Industry Recognition Award, OZTek 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award, OZTek 2015 Media Excellence Award, John Dalla-Zuanna, Richard Vevers, Richard Evans, Lance Robb. OZTek 2015 Award Winners, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, The OZTek Awards celebrate the achievements and endeavours of Australia's leading Divers and Dive Industry personnel - the people who have helped push the boundaries of knowledge and exploration in the field of advanced and technical diving.

On Sunday 15th March 2015, during the Gala Award Ceremony, previous OZTEk award winner Dr Richard 'Harry' Harris announced OZTek's 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award. This is what Harry had to say to packed audience of advanced and technical diving movers and shakers.

"It is an enormous honour to be asked by the OZTek Organisers to present this very well deserved award to a close friend, a wonderful dive budy, a mentor and a constant voice of reason in the mad world of technical diving!

I would like to break with tradition and ask this man - John Dalla-Zuanna - to come and join me up here, whilst I tell you why he is such a special guy in this great sport of ours.

At the cheeky young age of just 58, JDZ is truly a veteran of the sport of cave and technical diving. Cave diving in Australia started pretty much at the time JDZ started cave diving, so it is impossible to consider one without the other. Around the time the CDAA became incorporated in 1973, JDZ started visiting the Mount Gambier area. He cut a fine figure in Piccaninnie Ponds with his Moray suit! He became qualified in 1975 as member #256 and from that time on was inspired by the sport. A trip in the late 70's to Florida to meet Sheck Exlley, Wes Skiles and Woody Jasper quickly led to adopting sidemount diving, and feeling the thrill of laying line in virgin passage.

OZTek 2015 Harry Harris and JOhn Dalla Zuanna by Rosemary E Lunn
Dr 'Harry' Harris introducing cave diver John Dalla-Zuanna at the 2015 OZTek Award Dinner Photo Credit: Rosemary E Lunn / The Underwater Marketing Company

Thus the passion was born and returned to Australia and began teaching both open water and cave diving. He has reached the highest levels of recreational and cave diving instructor. And, as a long time FAUI instructor, a PADI Course Director and CDAA Advanced Cave instructor, countless students have come under his thoughtful and methodical influence. The CDAA has benefited enormously from John's vision for cave diving, and he has filled a voluntary position with that organisation in some form or another almost continuously. Ken Smith always said that he used to think cave diving politics were a matter of life and death, and now he realises it is much more serious! JDZ has been a calming influence on all factions of the CDAA for many yearss and is unique in that he is respected and heard by all sides.

OZTek 2015, cave diving explorer, Paul Hosie, Craig Challen, Ken Smith, Wetmules, John Dalla-Zuanna, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, technical diving, scuba diving, The Underwater Marketing Company
Cave diving explorer Paul Hosie @ OZTek.15 Photo Credit: Rosemary E Lunn

I met John at OZTek in, I think, 2003. We had been exchanging emails for awhile and I was about to leave to live in Vanuatu. John had built a rebreather heads up display from an LED light and a mobile phone vibrating motor! He generously gave me this device to put onto my KISS rebreather, which considerably enhanced the safety of my cave exploration at the the time.

After my stint in Vanuatu JDZ was one of the instructors on my penetration course and we struck up a real friendship underscored by our passion for caves, rebreathers and exploration. John had dived in so many caves around the world and along with guys like Paul Hosie, Craig Challen and Ken Smith, I quickly found a group of experienced cave divers who mentored me into the world of exploration and expedition diving. I am sure John has had a major impact on many other peoples' lives, the way he has influenced mine.

JDZ's ingenuity goes way back. He built a radio detection device called 'the Thumper' which played no small part in the mapping of Mount Gambier's showpiece, 'Tank Cave'. John was an early adopter of closed circuit rebreathers, and along with Tubby McKenzie the early leaky valve CCR Dolphin was born and dived to 85 metres on the Bayonet in the ships graveyard in Victoria. It was this creation that caught my eye and got me into rebreathers in 2002.

John the inventor became an indispensable part of the Wetmules team. (Moto: Lurching from crisis to crisis). His lithium scooter batteries propelled Craig Challen and I to the end of Cocklebiddy in 2008, where Craig added new line to the end of the cave. They also now famously caused the fire which burnt my car to the ground on the way home! His early 12 volt heated undergarments kept us warm in the Pearse Resurgence and his wonderful pasta kept us fed.

OZTek 2015. Dr Harry Harris, battery fire, Cocklebiddy Cave Exploration, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company
Dr 'Harry' Harris contemplating the fact that his beloved Mk15.5 rebreather was now a blackened blob inside the burnt out shell of his Nissan Patrol. (Along with all his other diving equipment, camera system, camping equipment, laptop and clothing). Harry was his way home from a two week cave diving trip to Australia's famous Cocklebiddy Cave in summer 2008, when he spotted smoke in the rear view mirror. 10 minutes after pulling over, everything was destroyed by fire.

John is a regular ocean and wreck diver. He has numerous sub 100 metre / 328 feet wreck dives to his credit and continues to teach young divers open water diving through the La Trobe university club, sharing his passion for all things aquatic. His huge passion right now is the 3D mapping of cave using a combination of video and gaming technology, and in this area he is becoming a world leader. I hope many of you got to see his talk on this today. As the current Site Director of CDAA he shows no sign of letting up, and I look foward to sharing many more dives with this wonderful friend and great ambassador for the sport of technical diving.

2015 OZTek Speakers, Heather Hamza, Alberto Nava, Richard Nicholls, Jayne Jenkins, Richard Taylor, Paul Raymaekers, Ben Reymenants, Liz Rogers, Dave Ross, Ken Smith, Lance Robb, Martin Parker, Simon Pridmore, Sue Crowe, Rod Macdonald, Daren Marshall, Barry McGill, Pete Mesley, Rosemary E Lunn, Simon Mitchell, David Strike, Dr Catherine Meehan, Michael Menduno, Richard 'Harry' Harris, Lamar Hires, Paul Hosie, Deborah Johnston, Richard Lundgren, Heather Hamza, Liam Allen, Michael Aw, Peter Buzzacott, Matt Carter, Steve Cox, John Dalla-Zuanna, John Garvin, Laura James, Paul Haynes, Paul Toomer,
The 2015 OZTek Speakers

John Dalla-Zuanna, please accept this Outstanding Achievement Award for your long standing contributions to cave and technical diving."

 

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Jarrod Jablonski talks 'Mars' by Rosemary E Lunn

Jarrod Jablonski, GUE Founder and CEO of Halcyon, made a whistle stop tour of the UK in September 2013. He gave two talks on 'Mars Makalos' - or 'Mars the Magnificent'. This aptly named 16th century warship took quite a bit of finding. She was discovered in May 2011 after a twenty-year search by a team of divers from Ocean Discovery that included GUE's Richard Lundgren.

To put the wreck into context, it would be fair to say that Mars is Sweden’s ‘Mary Rose’, and the comment that ‘this is the wreck find of the century’ is probably quite correct. Mars is considered so important that the current King of Sweden visited the team to see for himself how the exploration work is going.

Grahame Knott, John Kendall, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, Jarrod Jablonski, DiveLife, The Shipwreck Project, GUE, Santi, Suex Scooters, EUROTEK, TEKDiveUSA, advanced and technical diving conference,The Underwater Marketing Company, Halcyon
From left to right; Grahame Knott (technical skipper and The Shipwreck Project), John Kendall (UK Santi distributor, GUE Tech and Cave Instructor), Rosemary E Lunn (The Underwater Marketing Company, EUROTEK and TEKDiveUSA co-organiser) and Jarrod Jablonski (GUE Founder and Halycon CEO) at DiveLife.
Image Credit: Jason Brown / Bardo Photographic

The story of Mars and her subsequent discovery could be taken out of any ‘Boys Own’ annual, so it was no surprise that over 100 divers attended Jarrod’s talk, hosted by Manchester based DiveLife. Southern divers were not neglected either - Jarrod also spoke at Aquanauts in Plymouth.

Jarrod is a charismatic fluid speaker, and gave a highly entertaining presentation, actively involving his audience. He vividly brought images of a bunch of exceedingly large, very well preserved timbers and cannons to life, explaining about the ‘maritime battlefield’. Mars sank during a ferocious battle between Sweden and Denmark, and there is plentiful evidence of this. Divers were able to see how the ship burnt and they also found cannon balls embedded in the timbers. I was entranced, and Mars is now firmly included on my bucket list of diving.

I found watching the story of the exploration dives and the logistics involved enlightening. Having been involved with running the logistics on two HMHS Britannic expeditions, I can appreciate just what goes into running a major dive. The GUE ethos of running a unified dive team, standard gases and set way of rigging diving equipment, makes perfect sense when it comes to project diving. It saves so much faff time, and divers who have never met before will have a greater understanding of how their diving partners will behave underwater.

Diving on Mars has been very closely controlled and monitored and it is a perfect example of what amateur divers can achieve. Richard Lundgren’s team has been working hand in glove with scientists and academics to properly document and preserve Mars and her artifacts. Certain protocols have been put in place to protect the wreck and its environment. Lundgren’s team are trying to minimise the amount of oxygen in the water, therefore this has primarily been a rebreather expedition. And there has also been limited lifting of artifacts. A broken cannon and a small cannon that had previously only been seen in documents have been recovered and preserved. All the other cannons are remaining in situ for the time being. It looks as though work will continue in this significant wreck for many years to come.

Incidentally if you missed Jarrod speaking about Mars, you have the opportunity to see Richard Lundgren talk at the Nautical Archeology Society Conference on Saturday 2nd November in Portsmouth. More details on this can be found on the NAS website.

Article published: Sport Diver UK, November 2013 issue

Life on 'Mars' according to Jarrod Jablonski

DiveLife, a Manchester based scuba diving centre, has pulled off a major coup. They will be hosting a talk given by GUE's Jarrod Jablonski on 'Mars the Magnificent'.

Mars the Magnificent Richard Lundgren Rich Lundgren Jarrod Jablonski GUE EUROTEK Award Winner OZTek TEKDiveUSA Rosemary E Lunn Roz Lunn The Underwater Marketing Company DiveLifeThis warship sank off the Swedish coast during a fierce battle in 1564, with a loss of 440 men and a full compliment of over 100 huge cannon. After a twenty year search a team led by Richard Lundgren found her in 2011. Many consider Mars to be the marine archaeological find of the century.

The last time Jarrod spoke in the UK was in 2008, at the inaugural advanced and technical diving conference,  EUROTEK.

Jarrod will be at DiveLife on Monday 9th September. The talk kicks off at 19.30. It is free, however you will need to book a space in order make sure that seating can be arranged.

Book your ticket for this year's Baltictech Conference

About 20 minutes drive from Gdansk Airport is Gdynia - the location of this year’s Baltictech Conference.  (Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November).

The speaker line up is impressive; Jill Heinerth, JP Imbert, Tom Mount and Phil Short. 

 


Amongst the usual suspects are some lessor known names with some hot topics.  Łukasz Piórewicz will be speaking about Baltic for the beginners, whilst Dr Zdsiław Sicko discusses Aseptic necrosis and other less known threats in decompressive diving.  Meanwhile Author and diver Dorota Łeweć is talking on Psychophysical predispositions and medical aspects of diving women.  One talk sure to garner a lot of attention will be the one give by Richard Lundgren.  He will be speaking about the latest wrecks to be discovered in the Baltic.  It’s hoped this will include news on “Mars” - a 16th century Swedish warship littered with cannons, that outshines the Vasa.

Conference Tickets cost €70 and include entry to all presentations, workshops, seminars, the exhibition, conference dinner and diving party.  You need to book by 30 October 2011.  Log onto www.baltictech.com for more info and the recommended airline is Wizz Air.