is 21 years old this year and as part of our series of articles to celebrate this milestone, we have received a huge number of stories and memories of how DB has influenced over our history.

Tanya Streeter – World Champion Freediver and Ocean Advocate

Tanya Streeter

“It’s been such a privilege to be a part of the story. Who knew some crazy diver we all met while drinking somewhere would be such a massive influence on our sport? But seriously, I don’t believe freediving would be the respected sport it is today without the efforts of Stephan Whelan and his team, and the wonderful resource that DeeperBlue is today. Thanks, guys! And cheers!!”

William Trubridge – 19x World Record Freediver

William Trubridge At Deans Blue Hole

“ was my first portal into the wealth of knowledge about freediving techniques and physiology that was contained in the minds of the contributing writers and users who logged onto the website. It was 2003, long before Facebook, and the forums buzzed with questions and conversations that included the top freedivers of the day. Combing through threads and articles I built up an understanding of the sport that formed a starting point for my own research and experimentation. All that knowledge is still there, and I would strongly encourage newbie freedivers to use the search function on DeeperBlue to track down old articles and threads that will enrich their own understanding.”

Dr Dawn Kernagis – Research Scientist and NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) Crew Member

Dr Dawn Kernagis

“I first started reading DeeperBlue when I was going through my freediving training. I saw them as the go-to for all things apnea…then realized that Stephan and his team also covered all things diving, from tech to open water to breath-hold to research and everything in between. DB is now my go-to for any news and updates that have to do with being underwater!”

Herbert Nitsch – World Champion Freediver and Deepest Man On Earth

Multiple World Record Holder Herbert Nitsch

“For 21 years now, has been the go-to community on the web for anything you wish to know about freediving, diving and the ocean at large. Big thanks to Stephan Whelan and his associates for sharing amazing deep-sea adventures with all of us.”

Daan Verhoeven – Underwater Photographer & Videographer, former Dutch Record Holder, and PADI Master Freediving Instructor

Daan Verhoeven

“When I started freediving in 2005, one of the things about it I loved was the community. This was in the days before Facebook, so the best way to stay in touch and get a feel for what was going on outside of freediving comps was through the forums at Deeperblue. I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the site for that reason.”

Sara Campbell – Former Freediving World Record Holder

Sara Campbell

“ has accompanied me every kick and mouthful of the way; from being THE source of info through the learning stages, to being THE channel to share news and teachings in later years. I think we’d all be lost at sea without Stephan and his gang. Thank you ALL”

Adam Skolnick – Award-Winning Journalist and Author

Adam Skolnick

“ is a community hub, an inspiration well, and an authority on the who, what, where, and when of freediving and technical diving. The fact that its predominantly run and staffed by volunteer reporters and writers is almost impossible to believe. I’ve had the privilege to work alongside several of them as breaking news stories developed, and watched them work. When shit happens on the dive scene, DeeperBlue is always first, forever accurate. It’s a tremendous resource.”

Stig Severinsen – 4x Freediving World Champion & Director of

Stig Severinsen

“DeeperBlue spearheaded by Stephan Whelan and run by an amazing group of water aficionados has been an important part of my freediving career. This is where you find the latest news, as well as in-depth articles, are available on people who have done amazing things. Another important aspect of DeeperBlue has been its strong presence at the industry trade show DEMA for many years. Bearing the flag of Freediving & Spearfishing and always staying up to date and explaining water activities and marine protection to the public. I am grateful for all the support and help I have received throughout all the years and will be happy and proud to continue being part of DeeperBlue. Congratulations and thank you Stephan & Co. Great work. To your continued success.”

Carla Hanson – President, AIDA International

Carla Hanson – AIDA President

“I joined as someone wanting to learn to freedive. I read through the threads and decided to take a course. I tried a couple things with one agency and was not successful. I saw William Trubridge’s posts and contacted him and took a course from him. At the end of the week, I went 43m, so my ‘career’ started from DeeperBlue. I certainly recommend DB for noobs, beginners, knowledge seekers – Of course, the most appreciated aspect of DB is the cooperation AIDA has with DB to help us publish news, results and the huge support we receive through the relationship. Sadly, I must admit; it is very one-sided with DB, and you doing way more for us than we reciprocate.”

Linden Wolbert – Professional Mermaid

Mermaid Linden

“When I first became a certified PADI Open water diver in 2004 and shortly thereafter got involved in the sport of Freediving, DeeperBlue quickly became my go-to source for water-related news. I recall the day I was accepted to become a DB contributor, and covered some of my travels as a SCUBA model with PADI, ran around DEMA Show interviewing people I now call friends, and enjoyed creating some fun product reviews Over the years, Stephan Whelan has managed to inspire many of us to learn about the underwater world in an accessible and personable space; and he has likewise provided a community for sharing our passions, travels, loves and creative projects circulating around one common theme…….water! At many important moments in my own career, DB was there, reporting and inquiring….supporting and sharing. How lucky we all are to have such an online “home” for all things water!!! Thank you, Stephan and Team DeeperBlue for celebrating our underwater world….everyday!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, and here’s to many more!!!!”

Mandy Sumner – Team USA and World Champion Freediver

Mandy Sumner

“Since I discovered when I began freediving three years ago, it has had such a great impact on me. At the beginning, I was able to be a roving reporter for DB at my first freediving competition at Caribbean Cup 2014. This allowed me to be amongst some of the worlds top athletes. I was able to pick their brains on all of the tools they used to get to the depths that I wanted to someday achieve and to be part of such an elite community of athletes. Now, after being interviewed a few times as a top athlete in the past two years, DB had been such a huge part of the growth in my freediving career. I’m so happy that these amazing people have been around for the past 21 years to reach into our lives and hand us information about all types of water sports, scuba to freediving and to be up to date on the latest and greatest information. Thank you!”

Tec Clark – Diving Industry Professional, Founder of

Tec Clark from

“Today, the diving industry’s number one area of growth is in the freediving sector. But what many people don’t know is that DeeperBlue was a significant part of the “renaissance” of freediving worldwide. In the mid-to-late ’90’s a buzz was taking place with passionate freediving enthusiasts and DeeperBlue was the network linking us all together. Freedivers are the purists of underwater exploration. A tight-knit group bonded by a unique desire to explore underwater only seconds at a time. To that extent, you will not find a finer team of journalists than those who make up the DeeperBlue team. Happy Birthday DeeperBlue and thank you for networking and bonding us for 21 years!”

Luke Inman – Underwater photographer, filmmaker, and PADI Course Director

Luke Inman

“ is the most well-rounded and informative internet site for Scuba and Freediving in the industry. Honest and transparent with quality writing reviews”

Rosemary E Lunn – Co-founder EUROTEK, Diving Journalist

Rosemary E Lunn. Photo by Mario Vitalini

“At first glance, it would seem that is an overnight success. Until you look closer and realize it has been 21 years in the making.  I first came across DeeperBlue founder Stephan Whelan at the 2003 DEMA Show. Whilst Freediving wasn’t really my passion, I was struck by the vigor and energy Stephan poured into his portal. At the time DeeperBlue was “the” online website for everything freediving, however, Stephan wanted to expand the site’s content and he ran the story for me under his by-line.  As time passed more non-freediving stories began appearing on DeeperBlue, and Stephan posted my stories on DeeperBlue. Today DeeperBlue has evolved into a respected resource for freediving, spearfishing, recreational and technical diving news and articles. What I have found personally rewarding is watching not only how DeeperBlue has developed, but how companies I first reported on 12 years ago, have also developed. One of the strengths of DeeperBlue is that Stephan has built a strong international team of passionate, experienced writers. This is very apparent at the annual DEMA Show. I don’t know any other diving media team that provides such extensive, prolific, thorough and well-written coverage of this event. 12 years on, it is still great to be a DeeperBlue writer”

Eric Albinsson – PADI Instructor Development Programs Specialist

Eric Albinsson

“I can trace my connection to DeeperBlue, and particularly the forums, to the early 2000’s when, aside from working for PADI International Limited (now PADI EMEA) in Bristol, I sometimes spend my weekends helping Samphire (Sam) Amps and her fledgling freediving school, SaltFree.  I was part of the Angels safety team watching “those crazy freedivers” and we would occasionally post/read stuff on the DB forums to help with all kinds of things; from the latest safety info which Laura Harris (the leader of the Angels) then translated for us bubble-blowers to knowing when to meet up for a practice session etc…  Some years passed and I eventually left the PADI Office in Bristol and found myself working for PADI Americas.  While I was no longer in a freediving community I stayed loosely and intermittently connected to DB via its website.  After a few years, I noticed a significant change in the quality of the site, as well as an increase in its reach, and I would return to the DB sites more often, driven to them by the cool images and interesting articles I found on them. I also began seeing Stephan and his crew more often at various shows like DEMA and there always seemed to be a bit of a cool buzz around them.  Then with the launch of the PADI Freediver program at the end of 2015, I became more deeply involved with DB by helping to provide content for articles and responses to forums/Facebook posts from PADI’s point of view.  It was also at this time that I rekindled my own passion for freediving and so the DB sites became not just work-related viewing but I would go to them for information and inspiration in my personal freediving endeavors as well.  As can be expected of any 21 years old, DB has matured and can be relied on for current, impartial and accurate content, but like any 21 years old can still party hard when needed and deliver the cool stuff. I value the information within its various sites as it lets me keep a finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the freediving community. I thank you, Stephan, and your team, for your incredible effort and perseverance in evolving DB over the years into an industry influencer!”

Kell Levendorf – Casualty Investigator & Master Instructor

Kell Levendorf

“21 years young.  6000 articles published.  All with style and impeccable journalistic integrity.  DB has never kept me waiting for news and information…regretfully, DB cannot say the same about me… Looking forward to joining you for the next 21…”

Kyle Faust – OMER America

Kyle Faust

“DeeperBlue is my #1 source for Freedive related content. The insight and articles are well written and informative across the board of disciplines and activities.  I often send new freedivers to the Intro to freediving page as homework to give them a strong foundation.  I also enjoy the ability for customers to reach out to me in the forums to ask questions and be a contributing voice to the sport and not be unapproachable.  I look forward to being a part of the next 21 yrs of DeeperBlue.”

Emma Farrell – British freediving instructor and author One Breath: a reflection on freediving

Emma Farrell Go Freediving

“When I started freediving in 2000, DB was one of my first sources of information about freediving and a way of meeting like-minded people to train with. I first met Stephan in 2001 at the Dive Show in London and little did I know how important Stephan and DeeperBlue would be in my life and career.  Stephan and I were two of the founding members of the AIDA education commission, writing the first worldwide freediving courses, and this collaboration led to us setting up the freediving education arm of DeeperBlue, teaching first at the iconic 30m SETT tank, and then abroad with our freediving summer schools in Greece and Malta. It was an incredibly fulfilling time of my freediving career, being at the forefront of writing and delivering courses, and meeting people from all over the world.  Around the same time, I also started writing for DeeperBlue, articles, news pieces, and real-time reports from the second open freediving competition in Cyprus. I also reported from DMEX, the diving trade show in Dubai when I was out there teaching. Most recently, I wrote the Beginners Guide to Freediving, which has been a long-held dream of mine. The DeeperBlue team is second to none in terms of their professionalism and friendliness. DeeperBlue and Stephan have given me lifelong friends, an outlet for my creativity and passion for freediving, and a sense of real community. Plus some of the funniest and memorable times of my life!”

Jillian Morris – Shark Conservationist

Jillian Morris Brake

“DeeperBlue has been extremely supportive of sharing my shark diving and conservation content. It’s a wonderful network of incredibly ocean minded people sharing a common passion. Thanks DeeperBlue for continuously providing a platform for ocean education and conservation.”

Jim Standing – Co-Founder Fourth Element &  European Coordinator at Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society

Jim Standing and Dr Sylvia Earle

“It was 16 or so years ago when, fresh-faced and naive I met this other relatively fresh-faced bloke, who gave every impression of total competence and authority.  His concept, DeeperBlue, already established in the industry seemed so advanced that we didn’t feel worthy, plus it dealt in the dark arts of freediving which we didn’t really understand.  This reinforced that feeling of authority.  It wasn’t until two or three years later when we went to our first DEMA in Las Vegas, I realized that the Deeper Blue team were all as crazy as we were. We could relax…”

Grant Graves – Industry Professional and Director

Grant Graves

“Deeperblue provides an essential bridging of the gap for the dive industry. From the beginning, DB has been the place you can gain critical insights into diving culture, often straight from the mouths of those directly involved. Field reports and items that are timely, but “do not fit our format” for other outlets have always been welcomed at DB. From show updates to expedition and competition coverage, to hard-hitting long format journalism, Deeperblue has always championed. More importantly, Deeperblue has never been afraid to experiment, making it the home of cutting-edge mixed media journalism.”

We feel incredibly proud to have received such amazing praise from so many in the industry.  We also have seen so many readers and members contribute stories via the forums.

Have you memories or stories of and how it has helped you?  Comment below or contribute in the forums.