Continuing our series of articles introducing you to PADI Technical Diving Division Staff this one is about Steve Mortell, one of our quieter, but nevertheless, vital members of staff. Steve is Director of Cave Diving in the PADI Technical Diving Division and a Tec Consultant in all areas of technical diving.
Steve received his first certification in 1979 (PADI) followed by subsequent certifications from NAUI and YMCA. He completed his first rebreather course in 1997 followed by two additional certifications on different units. Steve holds instructor ratings with NACD, NSS, IANTD, TDI/SDI, H.S.A. and of course PADI where he has been an Instructor Trainer since 1988. This coupled with formal education in the field of Education and 5 years as a High School Teacher gives him an in depth view and experience in scuba training and education.
Steve has been a technical diver since 1985 when he completed his first cave certification and was a cave instructor three years after that. He was diving mixed gases before there was much formal training even available, but still managed to find individuals such as Parker Turner, Bill Main and Paul Heinerth to learn how to do it right. He has taken two sidemount courses from two of the best in world in sidemount, Paul Heinerth and Jeff Loflin. He has dived extensively (in both back and sidemount) in the caves in Florida, Mexico and now the Dominican Republic.
He completed his Trimix Instructor in 2003 and two years later was asked to be the bottom diver in an operation for NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration) to recover a sonar buoy at 267 feet located 100 miles of the coast of San Diego. He has also applied this experience to deep cave diving in renowned sites such as Diepolder 3 and Eagles Nest.
Steve has been a PADI Member since 1985 and has worked for PADI for over 15 years. This coupled with his nearly 10 years in the dive industry prior to working with PADI has given him a wealth of information to draw on in working with PADI Members as well as working on PADI programs.
Steve Mortell has been involved with PADI TecRec programs from the very beginning and helped launch the Tec Deep and Tec Trimix course. It is very difficult to get Steve to tell you about his many achievements, because he is such a modest man, but anyone who has worked or dived with him holds him in extremely high regard. Not only is he very knowledgeable but always willing to share his experience and helps other, while making you feel like you’re doing him a favour!