In memoriam

Armand Zigahn has died aged 89

Beneath the Sea writes:

It is with profound sadness that we note today the passing of Armand Zigahn. Zig, the name the thousands of men and women his life touched knew him by, passed quietly. Zig leaves behind his wife JoAnn, his sons Michael and Scott, his daughters Kimberly, Kristen, Linda, Cheryl, and grandchildren Christian, Abigail, Alexandra, Mathew, Rachel, Joshua, Jonathan, and beloved niece and nephew Ash-ley and Christopher.

Lad Handelman in his Santa Barbara, CA home. Photo courtesy of Historical Diving Society

Celebrating Lad Handelman

I was greatly saddened by the loss of Lad Handelman, who passed away as a result of a heart attack on the evening of October 26, 2020. Though most people knew him as one of the larger-than-life giants and pioneers of commercial oilfield diving, few knew that he was a key advisor for my magazine aquaCORPS: The Journal for Technical Diving and the tek.Conferences in the early 1990s.



Max with Joelle Raabe at DEMA show where he tirelessly represented Papua New Guinea for many years

International dive community mourn the loss of Max Benjamin

Don Silcock:

I met Max for the first time over 20 years ago – in the domestic terminal of Port Moresby airport where we were waiting to board a flight to Kimbe Bay. The trip leader introduced him as “this is Max, he’s the owner of Walindi” which was where we were going to.

My first impressions turned out to be pretty accurate… before me was a man who would look you straight in the eye and quickly understand your intent - no BS with Max, he seemed to be able to read you like a book!

Lady in red. Helen Farr loved red! She is pictured here at Jug Hole, Florida

The cave diving community mourns the loss of Helen Farr

Helen Farr was "a massively committed and active cave diver" of two decades. Although you might not realise it, you will have probably seen her photo in a diving magazine, a mainstream newspaper, a cave diving book (such as the iconic 'The Darkness Beckons', third edition) or featured in a presentation.

Helen was 100% committed to the sport [cave diving]. Richie Stevenson, Underwater cinematographer

Fiona Sharp diving her AP Diving rebreather, Bonaire, Octobe 2019

Tributes are paid to Dr Fiona Sharp

A report on social media stated that the 55-year-old diver was ascending from a 91.5m (300ft) solo rebreather dive in Bonaire, and was found unresponsive on the reef at 24m (80ft) with the loop out of her mouth. (It is not known whether she had planned to dive to that depth or not). She was brought to the surface and medivaced. She did not regain consciousness. It is thought that all of her equipment was recovered. Her Inspiration rebreather head has already been downloaded for analysis. At the time of writing this piece, it is not known what happened.

Alan King

A tribute to Alan King

Alan was a friendly colleague who loved being outside and talking to anyone. As a child, he developed the skill of always finding something of common interest to discuss with anyone he met, and he carried this through into his adult life. Alan was able to strike up a conversation about anything with anyone. Alan learned to scuba dive in 1970 when he joined the Leicester Underwater Exploration Club. Two years later, he became a commercial diver—a high-risk career in the early '70s—with his "office" primarily being the North Sea exploration rigs.

Wolfgang Leander has died

We instantly became friends.  Wolfgang was mild-mannered, pleasant and very knowledgeable.  At the time his body was already quite ravaged by several bouts of cancer but not his spirit or positive outlook.


Wolfgang's purist b/w photography of sharks, shot on film with his trusty and battered Nikonos V, was one of the few that truly inspired me to take my own photography a tad further. There was always such a raw but at the same time elegant aesthetic over his imagery which always appealed to me, and still does to this day.