Meet the Big Squid Professional Dive team.

John Forbath “Chief Squid”

Founder and Staff Instructor

I started diving in 1991 in the Philippines. My favourite diving in the UK is at St Abbs and Scapa Flow.

The feeling of weightlessness is what I love most about diving.

My advice to anyone wishing to improve their diving is to spend as much time as you can in the water, visualise your dive before entering the water and relax.

Phil Mclaren

Staff Instructor & Freediving Instructor

“I started diving while on holiday in Egypt in 2014, I then completed my Divemaster and instructor training in 2016 with the Thresher Sharks out in Malapascua, Philippines. I am also an avid freediver and whether with tanks or without you will usually find me underwater somewhere.’

Living down in Brighton for the last 10 years has given me lots of chance to experience the many of the amazing wrecks just off the south coast, my favourite place to dive in the UK.

The best part of diving for me is how it gives you the ability to explore the underwater world and get up close to historic sunken wrecks and amazing creatures of the deep!

For me, the best way for anyone to improve their diving skills after completing their course is just to get in the water and go diving! Whether that’s here in the UK or abroad, there are amazing things to see and great experiences to be had.   The more you dive, the more relaxed and comfortable you will feel and intern to more you will love it!  Everything gets better with practice and experience.

Di Xu “Social Squid”


“I discovered scuba diving during a family holiday to Palau in 2014. I was hooked immediately.

I have many favourite dive sites so it’s difficult to pick one. Over the years I have become very fond of diving around the South Coast of England – James Eagan Layne, M2, Kyarra, the Mulberry etc. They are all unique and beautiful in their own ways. Sea diving in the UK can be unpredictable, yes but so is life in general isn’t it. When everything falls into place, you will experience some of the best diving in your scuba life.

What do I enjoy about diving? Well, what is there not to like about floating in the water watching a whole different world going about its business?

For those of you just starting out, my advice would be to own your dives. It means trying to assemble and check your own equipment instead of waiting for the dive staff to do it; trying to orientate yourself underwater and have some idea of turnaround pressure and time instead of relying purely on the dive guides. And finally, have fun! “

Tania Pantin

Master Scuba Diver Trainer

My diving journey started in 2016 on the Gili Islands, Indonesia. I completed most of my training in Dahab, Philippines, Malta and the UK, gaining as much experience as possible. I finally took the plunge and completed my Instructor Development Course in the UK.

My favourite dive site in the UK is Lundy Island.

My recommendation for a new diver is to look for a good diving club that guides you well and that trains you properly. I think that the perfect combination is passion, discipline, work and enjoying each phase that you go through to achieve your goals. As a student, you should not focus on how you reach the top of the mountain instead you should focus on what you have learnt in each stage and step to reach it.

Faye Wilde “Eco Squid”


I started diving in 2009. My favourite diving in the UK is a toss up between the Farnes and Lundy – it’s all about the seals!

What I like most about diving is meeting all the wonderful creatures that live underwater and also the peace away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

My advice to divers starting or wishing to improve is to dive as often as you can, even if just in the pool. You’ll keep your skills fresh and through contact with other divers, you will hear about new skills and challenges you can take to enhance your diving experience.

Arianna Moretti


I did a Discover Scuba in 2003, and never looked back; I’ve done all my training with Big Squid.

My favourite UK dive site is The Manacles; it’s beautiful and so varied, with gorgeous reefs, great wildlife, historic wrecks, big currents and sheltered gullies full of surprises.

I love the sensation of being underwater, the freedom and tranquillity it brings me.

For new divers, get yourself fit to dive. So lots of practise diving, but also work on your breathing, flexibility and strength. I recommend Yoga, swimming, running, any cardio work. If you struggle to lift your tank, do weights. You’ll benefit all round and enjoy your diving more.

John Mcevoy

Master Scuba Diver Trainer

My first experience of diving was a Discover Scuba Diving course in Malta 1991.

It’s a tough one to choose my favourite dive site in the UK as there are so many, but Portland has some great wrecks.

The best thing about diving is that it’s the nearest thing to being in space, weightless with control.

The best advice I can give is to learn from good instructors, get good habits and practice, practice, practice.

Vladimir Kuriyanov

Master Scuba Diver Trainer

I started diving in 1998 taking an Open Water Referral Course in London which was followed by open water dives in Rhodes, Greece.

My favourite dive sites in the UK? – I like diving in UK waters more than I do in warm seas. My favourite dive is always the next one.

What I like most about diving is that it provides the opportunity to discover the ‘other world’.

My advice for people learning to dive or improving their diving is to enjoy the privilege and be part of it.

Kevin Canning


My first experience of diving was a try dive on holiday in Rhodes in 1994. I qualified as an Open Water Diver in 1996.

My favourite UK dive site is Lundy though my favourite wreck is the Scylla off the coast of Plymouth.

What I love most about diving is the feeling of weightlessness and the incredible marine life I get to see.

My advice to new divers or anyone wanting to improve is to dive with those more experienced and to spend lots of time in the water.

Jerry Collins


I started diving in 2010, I thought, if I don’t start soon it will be too late!

My favourite diving in the UK? Everywhere! Each has its own uniqueness. If pushed, I would have to say Scapa Flow, for the majesty of the wrecks there.
Floating weightless is the most amazing feeling, especially in clear blue water where you can hardly see the water and it feels like flying or being in space.
My advice to divers starting or wishing to improve is to get training, keep practising and have fun!

Shai Koren

Master Scuba Diver Trainer

I started diving in 1997
My favourite dive sites in the UK are Lundy and Pembrokshire.

The thing I like most about diving is breathing compressed nitrogen, beating gravity and blowing bubbles.

The advice I would give to people learning to dive or wanting to improve their diving is dive, dive, dive.