In the Autumn of 1997 Nicky Finn was asked to “come in for a chat” at AP Diving about a possible job position. At the time this Cornish based manufacturer primarily specialised in designing and producing buoyancy control devices (BCD’s) for recreational, commercial and military dives. What Nicky didn’t know was that AP was about to launch a new piece of equipment. The World’s first commercial closed circuit rebreather.
“The most significant development in diving since Cousteau invented the aqualung” Diver Magazine UK
This piece of equipment has transformed not only dive exploration but Nicky Finn’s professional career.
“I joined AP Diving the same week the Inspiration Rebreather was launched. At the time I didn’t dive, but that soon changed. My role was personal assistant to Martin Parker. A couple of days into the job Terry Fisher – AP’s Chief Engineer – gave me a massive pile of paperwork with orders to add to the waiting list for the Inspiration and asked me to sort it.
My response was to go into the factory and talk to the rebreather engineers. I knew I had to learn about this piece of equipment. ‘How does it work? What does it do?’, I asked.” The answer I got back was “do you know what the term partial pressure of oxygen means?” “No I replied”.
I soon learned about physics and to dive. I did about 20 open circuit dives in total before switching straight onto a rebreather. There had been a big discussion at work about whether it was possible to take a novice diver and teach them how to use a rebreather – I was the guinea pig!
We have some fantastic diving in Cornwall, and I was regularly able to dive after work with colleagues, exploring the waters around Porthkerris.
To begin with my work was primarily office based, but as my rebreather knowledge and diving progressed I began working the dive shows. In 2000 I was promoted to the role of ‘Product Manager’ for the Inspiration.
Today my work involves loads of customer contact, a lot of travelling to dive shows around the world, along with scheduling production and looking at market development.
Most of my diving is in the UK although it is great sometimes having the chance to dive overseas whilst I am travelling for work!”
Image credits AP Diving and Rosemary E Lunn/The Underwater Marketing Company