STAFF

Name: John “Boomer” Appelboom

Favorite Dive Site: House Reef, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Diving Experience: 55+ years diving; 45+ years instructing; 19,000+ dives;    20,000+ students certified; 500+ instructors certified

Bio: John was a Cayman Island dive operator in the mid 70’s, a former Florida Regional Director of the YMCA Scuba Program, and the former Secretary of Treasury of the Florida Association of Dive Operators (FADO). John is one of a select few that teaches about marine life through direct interactions with wild animals including; moray eels, barracudas, goliath groupers, scorpion fish, angel fish, lobster, butterfly fish, and sharks. He began this personal interaction with sea creatures in his Cayman days by learning more about them on every dive. He shares this interactive knowledge and love of the sea with generations of scuba divers.

Name: Danny Kale

Favorite Dive Site: Little River Springs, Brandford, FL

Diving Experience: 20+ years diving; 15+ years instructing; 1500+ logged dives; 1000+ students certified

Bio: Danny started teaching elementary school after 14 years in the Air Force. He taught science at North Lakeland Elementary School, a passion you continue to see through his teaching style at Deep Six Divers Service, Inc. Danny enjoys cave diving whenever he has the opportunity and is a fully certified instructor. Danny may have retired from his day job, but he still loves teaching scuba and being with students sharing the joy of his favorite sport. 

Name: Matt Vinzant

Favorite Dive Site: Weeki Wachee/Twin Dees Cave System, Spring Hill, Florida

Diving Experience: 20+ years diving; 10+ years instructing; 2000+ logged dives; 200+ students certified

Bio: Matt was certified at 12 years old here at Deep Six Divers Service, Inc. Instantly infatuated with the sport he continued his training and by the age of 13 he was the youngest certified cavern diver in the US. His true passion is cave diving and exploration. Matt can be found exploring springs and caves throughout the south eastern US or relaxing with his wife and two daughters on his days off. Matt is on the board of Karst Underwater Research. Matt worked at Deep Six since 2004 while earning a degree in Environmental Science at USF. He now works at SWFWMD and instructs for Deep Six on his free time.

Name: Tyler Anderson

Favorite Dive Site: Spiegel Grove, Key Largo, Florida 

Diving Experience: 10+ years diving; 5+ years instructing; 2000 + logged dives; 200+ students certified

Bio: Tyler is a police officer with the Lakeland Police Department. He is also the leader of the LPD Dive Team. Tyler is an avid scuba diver and has been since he was certified at Deep Six years ago. He enjoys wreck diving, deep diving, and spearfishing. He is an IANTD instructor and following in the steps of all the Deep Six instructors works with his students as long as needed to help them become comfortable divers.

Name: Shawn Blakeslee

Favorite Dive Site: Mermaids Grotto, Okinawa, Japan

Diving Experience: 10+ years diving; 5+ years instructing; 700+ logged dives; 200+ students certified

Bio: Shawn served in the NAVY where he was a rescue swimmer. He rekindled his passion for diving when he was living in Japan and working for the US Marines. He is often found in north Florida diving in caves. Shawn is a very enthusiastic instructor at Deep Six and his passion for diving is seen while teaching. Shawn has a background in safety management and as an authorized OSHA outreach trainer puts safety at the forefront of his instruction.

Name: Don Bailey

Favorite Dive Site: El Aguila, Roatan, Honduras 

Diving Experience: 25+ years diving; 2 years instructing; 15,000+ dives; 300+ students certified

Bio: Don worked as a scientific diver in aquariums for  10 years contributing to his enthusiasm for sea life. He loves underwater archaeology and has worked on numerous shipwreck projects. Some of the most interesting projects Don has worked on include finding shipwrecks in Tampa Bay, uncovering blockade ships from the War of 1812, diving pristine shipwrecks with Great Lakes Historical Diving Society, and assisting in bringing up artifacts from Queen Anne’s Revenge Blackbeard’s flagship. Don also does conservation work including manatee health assessments, doing fish surveys for REEF, and working with the Coral Restoration Foundation in the Keys. His passion for teaching people how to become competent, self-reliant divers is seen in all of his classes. Don loves to say that he hopes to ignite the spark in a diver that becomes the wildfire that changes the world.    

Name: Ashley Zimmerman

Favorite Dive Site: The Eagle, Islamorada, FL 

Diving Experience: 5+ years diving; Instructor; 100+ dives

 Bio: Ashley is in training to become a scuba instructor.  She has experience with many different types of marine life having worked and volunteered in several aquariums in the area.  Ashley works full time in the shop and is always very eager and willing to help new divers get the gear that they need and get them just as excited about diving as she is.  Ashley continues to be a valuable asset to Deep Six through her hard work in the shop, classroom, and of course in the water.

Name: Adam Wilson

Favorite Dive Site: Small Wall, Kralendijk, Bonaire

Diving Experience: 5+ years diving; Divemaster; 100+ dives

 Bio: Adam was trained here at Deep Six in 2015. He has been diving all over the world with us and continues to learn and help out anytime he is in the water. In a very short period of time he has gained a lot  of real world experience that makes him invaluable to any instructor he is assisting while diving or in the classroom. Adam is always willing to help students get over any hurdle they have with a smile on his face and a positive attitude.

Name: Duke the Deep Six Dive Dog

Favorite Dive Site: Davis Island Dog Park Beach, Tampa, FL

Diving Experience: Nothing formal

Bio: Duke would classify himself as the bestest boy, we agree of course. He hangs around the shop most weekends that John is in the Keys and runs a tight ship for Boomer whenever he is away having fun diving. Duke is a sucker for snacks, belly rubs, and all other forms of attention. Be sure to to swing by and give this guy some loving.