The Way the World Learns to Dive.

PADI 5 Star IDC Center

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Dive Crew
Buddies has a highly qualified, experienced, friendly team that are able to teach in numerous languages. All the staff are dedicated and passionate about diving and teaching, and we aim to offer an unmatched level of quality, service, safety and entertainment.....

Meet the Team

Buddies Owner
Martin Stanhope
Course Director

I have been diving since 1993 when I learned to dive with BSAC underneath Swanage Pier. After a holiday in Comino I switched to PADI. I trained through to Master Instructor with Dive In, Gildenburgh Water in the UK. I started working there in 2003 and loved every minute of it. Eventually I decided to make scuba diving my career and moved to Malta in March 2007.Since becoming a Course Director in July 2008, most of my teaching is now Instructor Level Courses but I can still be found teaching Open Water and even the odd Try Dive if Karen makes me!


I learnt to dive to see the wonderful underwater life, so my favourite dives are ones with lots of fish. Having said that, my favourite dive in Malta is the wreck of the Um El Faroud, it is just breathtaking. Faroud aside, my top 5 dives would be Comino Caves, Imperial Eagle, Anchor Bay, Blue Hole & Inland Sea.

Outside of diving I love football and passionately support Luton Town Football Club. I'm a computer games freak and spend a ridiculous amount of time playing Destiny on my PS4. I relax by spending time with my beautiful Daughter – Emily, my 2 Rottweilers & my 3 Pugs.

PADI Course Director 629889

PADI Specialty Instructor Trainer

Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer

PADI TecRec - Tec Deep Instructor Trainer

PADI TecRec - Tec Trimix Instructor

PADI TecRec - Trimix Gas Blender Instructor Trainer

Buddies Owner
Karen Barnes
IDC Staff Instructor

I always knew that I would become a diver! I qualified in Egypt in 2000.  If I hadn’t have been in the middle of buying my first flat, I would have never gone back to the UK. I loved the freedom that Diving gave.  Viewing the marine life in its natural habitat is a sight I believe everyone should have the chance to see. Under the sea is a different world completely, it’s so relaxing and no one dive is the same. Every dive is a different experience, from the marine life to the wrecks, it’s just amazing and from the moment I got in the water for my first dive I fell in love with it.


At first I was only planning to be a warm water diver, taking my holidays in Egypt, Turkey and hopefully places like Mexico, Thailand and ultimately wherever my budget would allow.  Then as my love for diving grew, I realized that I no longer wanted to remain in the UK.  I wanted to make my hobby my profession.    I became an Instructor at Gildenburgh Water in 2005 and loved it. Gildenburgh was also where I met Martin, and found that he had the same views.  We left England in 2007 and headed to Malta.  And I guess the rest is history!
One of the main reasons we chose Malta to settle in is the fact that it offers diving all year round.  It also has some fantastic dive sites, giving a wonderful variety between shallow scenic dives, such as at  Anchor Bay and the Santa Maria caves, and deeper wrecks such as the Rozi and the Um el Faroud. Aside from diving I found the people to be friendly and the scenery to be breathtaking. It really is a beautiful island.

PADI IDC Staff Instructor

Emergency First Response Instructor

Specialty Instructor: DPV, Underwater Navigator, Wreck, Deep, Emergency Oxygen Provider, PPB, Enriched Air & Dry Suit

Elka Borucka
Master Instructor

After I did my first Discover Scuba Diving I knew that this was something I wanted to do! I started diving in 2008 in Malta. As a work placement from university I came back to Malta the following year, and I did all of the courses up to Divemaster. After graduating I worked as a Divemaster with Buddies and prepared for the IDC, which I did with Martin (the big boss!). After becoming an instructor I started teaching in the cold, green waters of Poland, and the Netherlands. I came back to Buddies in 2014 as an instructor and in November I completed the Staff Instructor course and left Malta for beautiful Thailand. And now….. I’m back again for more awesome dives!

 

PADI Master Instructor

Emergency First Response Instructor

TecRec Trimix Gas Blender Instructor

Specialty Instructor: Sidemount, Deep, Wreck, Nitrox, Night, PPB, Drysuit, DPV, Naturalist, Ocean Reef integrated Mask and Underwater Navigator

Rachel E. Watts
Course Director

I wanted to dive from the age of 8 after watching an underwater nature programme on TV. Having placed scuba diving on my bucket list, I finally managed my first underwater experience in September 2000 when I took myself off to the Maldives to do my Open Water course. From that moment, I knew I wanted to be an Instructor and after progressing through my courses in the ‘tropical’ waters of the UK, I chose Malta as my destination for completing my IDC and became a qualified Instructor in 2005 and in March 2017 I became a PADI Course director.
Malta became a very regular diving destination for me, so in May 2013 I finally made the visit a permanent one and have never looked back!
I don’t really have any particular favourite dives – for me every dive has something to offer and I love the fact that you just never know what you may see!
 

PADI Course Director

Emergency First Response Instructor Trainer

TecRec Gas Blender

Specialty Instructor: Boat, Deep, Digital Underwater Photography, Dive Against Debris, DPV, Drift, Dry Suit, Emergency Oxygen Provider, Enriched Air, Equipment Specialist, Multilevel and Computer Diver, Night, PPB, Search and Recovery, Underwater Navigator, Wreck & Shark Diver (My own Specialty)



 

Tom Carleer
IDC Staff Instructor

I got interested in diving since 2012, came to Malta and started to think about becoming a pro.
In September 2014 I had the opportunity to do my rescue, DM with Buddies. So I started playing with the idea of becoming an instructor – and yes in May 2015 I did the IDC with Buddies. There is no bigger pleasure than change a hobby into a career. I speak French, Dutch and English.

PADI IDC Staff Instructor

Emergency First Response Instructor

Specialty Instructor: Deep, Wreck, Nitrox, Night, PPB & Underwater Navigator

Ryan Phillips
IDC Staff Instructor

I started diving in 2009 in Fiji, as part of a marine conservation project I was doing for my gap year. I Immediately fell in love with diving and was determined that this was what I was going to do with my life. As soon as I was back fro my trip to Fiji I started a Divemaster internship in Tenerife and after that I worked for a while in Australia, however I found myself becoming more interested in teaching diving so I decided to go to Egypt and do my Instructor course.
In 2012 came to Malta for the first time and immediately fell in love with its culture and diving. My favourite type of diving is wrecks of which my favourite are the Rozi and the P29 at Cirkewwa.
Outside of diving I'm a computer games geek and spend a large amount of my time playing Fallout 4.
 

PADI IDC Staff Instructor

Emergency First Response Instructor

TecRec Gas Blender

Specialty Instructor: DPV, Sidemount, Deep, Wreck, Nitrox, Dry Suit, PPB, Boat, Night, SMB, Equipment Specialist, Emergency Oxygen Provider, Underwater Navigator, Search & Recovery, Digital Underwater Photography, Multilevel, Underwater Naturalist, Aware Shark Conservation

 

Dean Upson
IDC Staff Instructor

My First introduction to diving was in 2001 in Northern Ireland when I was serving with British Army, It was in zero visibility, cold water and involved cutting pipe in half! Even with this harsh intro to diving I was hooked and then in 2003 I completed Recreational qualification and became PADI open water diver. I then spent a few years to get up to Dive master and completed this in 2006.  I then became an instructor in 2014 and started teaching with Blue Ocean diving in UK up until 2016 when I headed out to Thailand to work.
I have dived all over the world from Falkland Islands to Bora Bora and everywhere in between. Diving is a passion for me rather than just a job and I love to be able share my passion with people. I have been lucky enough to work with other injured Veterans like myself with both physical and psychological Injuries and got a big buzz from this.
I am keen Tec Diver and Rebreather diver and my big love in the water is wreck diving anything with Rust involved and I want to dive it!! Nothing more exciting for me then exploring a wreck and find out its history!!
Outside of diving I enjoy skiing, motorbikes and exploring new places. I have been coming to Malta for number of years and do love the Islands with its rich history and lovely people, you couldn’t find a friendlier place.
 

 

PADI IDC Staff Instructor

Emergency First Response Instructor

PADI TecRec Instructor

PADI TecRec Gas Blender

Specialty Instructor: Boat, Deep, Digital Underwater Photography, Drift, Dry Suit, Emergency Oxygen Provider, Enriched Air, Multilevel and Computer Diver, Night, PPB, Search and Recovery, Underwater Navigator, Project Aware, AWARE Coral Reef conservation, Fish ID , Naturalist , Wreck, Sidemount , Full Face , Videographer.

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Jones
Master Scuba Dive Trainer

I've been with Buddies for the past 2 years, I came here as a Rescue diver in April 2015. I did my Divemaster internship with Buddies and followed it up with an IDC the same summer. Since then I've been teaching courses and learning how to be a better instructor. From the moment I started diving I decided I wanted to be an instructor and thanks to the team at Buddies I'm now an instructor doing a job I love. The first time I dived the Um el Farroud I knew diving in Malta would always have a place in my heart and despite being here for 2 seasons now I still feel there are tonnes more dives to see.

PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

Emergency First Response Instructor

Specialty Instructor: Deep, Wreck, Nitrox, PPB, Night and Underwater Navigator

 

Miranda Jackson
Divemaster Trainee

I learnt to dive in 2012 to begin my dream of becoming a marine biologist; completing my open water and dry suit speciality at Gildenburgh, where Buddies was recommended to me. During my second year of undergrad I did the advanced and scientific courses at Vobster Quays. Most of my diving experiences are in the Wakatobi Marine National Park (Indonesia), where I spent two months in 2014 and another three last year collecting data for my undergrad and masters’ dissertations. Although my experience is limited to a small area I love that a familiar site can present new challenges with every visit, especially when you thought you’d seen everything it had to offer. I felt that the next step was the rescue course and loved it so much that being a divemaster became my new goal.

Cliff and Soska
Complaints Managers

So, our ever popular Complaints Managers are Martin's Rottweilers Cliff and Soska. They are happy to deal with any complaints you may have but are easily distracted by cats, bones or anything edible. They enjoy eating, walking and sleeping. They are yet to try diving in Malta but as the saying goes: Don't hold ya breath!

Specialties: Eating, Destroying indestructable toys, Sleeping & Cat Awarness

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