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Meet Your Divemaster Mentors

Here’s a little bit of information about the team at Utila Dive Centre who will be conducting and working with you on your Divemaster training and internship. You won’t find a more experienced, qualified or diverse group of professionals (and characters!) as this group of fine ladies and gentlemen. So here’s a brief introduction (with a little humour) to the crew to whom you’ll be entrusting your professional career!!

Andy Phillips Course Director Utila

Andy Phillips (UK)
PADI Course Director, DAN Instructor Trainer, DSAT Trimix Instructor Trainer, IANTD Instructor Trainer, Rebreather Instructor Trainer, Sidemount Instructor Trainer, Beautiful Oceans Science Instructor Trainer
Utila Dive Centre’s ‘Director of Professional Training’

Andy has taught and dived all over the world: Egypt Red Sea, Thailand, SE Asia, Galapagos/Costa Rica Pacific, Cyprus Mediterranean, Caribbean, Yucatan caves of Mexico and South Africa. His award winning IDC’s have seen him receive countless certificates of excellence from PADI Vice President James Morgan based on the comments and feedback of the Instructors who he has trained. Andy has over 5000 logged dives. He is also a DSAT Trimix Instructor Trainer, DAN Instructor Trainer and IANTD Instructor Trainer and IANTD ‘Closed Circuit Rebreather’ Instructor. Andy has trained over 3000 divers and 1000 Instructors and is an accomplished and experienced mixed gas technical diver. Andy’s hobbies outside of diving are sailing, travel, trekking and off road mountain biking. Prior to working in the scuba industry in 1997, Andy worked in commercial insurance in market analysis and designing future policies. This business background and expertise will help you get the best possible start to your professional dive career.  Andy recently graduated with his Masters degree in ecommerce and has integrated additional information into our professional training courses to help our candidates to understand the direction of the dive industry and how the internet is shaping education and training online. If your’re impressed with what you’ve read so far on this website, then you’ll probably meet Andy very soon (albeit online) as he also handles our e-mail inquiries. So please keep any e-mail questions brief so he can still get to go out and dive!!!!

Daniela Mejia Instructor Utila Dive CentreDaniela Mejia (Honduras)
PADI IDC Staff Instructor

Dani is our top performing Honduran Instructor and in addition to being our Head Instructor at UDC and working on our Divemaster training Dani is also very active in teaching ‘Caribbean Lionfish Containment Diver’! Dani has dived all around the world, including the cooler climate of the USA and is one of the few female Honduran Instructors on Utila and enjoys hanging out in shallow water on the reef shelf looking for fish and critters.  Dani is also a regular host on our UDC quiz nights and as you can see from the photo this QuizMistress is one ‘Tough Mudder’!

Jemma Instructor Utila Dive CentreJemma Aitken (UK), B.sc Marine Biology
PADI IDC Staff Instructor

In addition to being a full time Instructor and Divemaster mentor as UDC Jemma is our resident marine biologist and Manager of our CoralWatch program and AquaTerra project.  Jemma has dived all around the world, including UK waters and has worked on conservation and scientific research projects in Fiji and elsewhere in Central America.  Jemma also loves to dance and is a big fan of our themed BBQ nights at UDC, sporting costumes that date back to the 80’s to dressing as a LionFish!

PADI Divemaster mentor Sarah MorharSarah Morhar (USA)
PADI Master Instructor, Specialty Instructor; Deep, Enriched Air, Wreck, PPB, O2 Provider, Sidemount diver, Adaptive Teaching Instructor

 Sarah is originally from San Francisco and has a background in wines and cheeses from working as a hostess in the Napa Valley region.  After several years of running a successful business she decided for a change of lifestyle so she decided to become a PADI Instructor.  In addition to excellent coaching, counseling, teaching and mentoring skills, Sarah brings a wealth of diving experience to our team as She has trained and dived throughout the world.  Sarah can also teach a wide of variety of specialties, and staffs on our ‘Instructor Development’ programs on a regular basis. Anyone who ever had the luck to take a course with her agrees that there’s no one as happy and energetic as she is. Stephen jokingly feels working as a scuba Instructor connects him to both of her past occupations, diving and good wines!

Divemaster Instructor Eugene BerryEugene Berry (USA)
PADI Master Instructor, EFR Instructor Trainer, Specialty Instructor; Wreck, Nitrox, Equipment, O2 provider, Gas Blender, Underwater Photography, Deep, Coral Reef Research Diver, Adaptive Teaching Instructor

Eugene grew up on the West coast of the USA near Oregon and has always had a love for the Ocean.  Eugene has worked as an Instructor in both S.E. Asia and Latin America/Caribbean and has a strong interest in conservation and has worked in various PADI Career Development Centers.  Eugene has trained and dived throughout the world and has managed a wide range of dive operations and luxury resorts and brings a wealth of dive industry experience to our Divemaster program.  Eugene can also teach a wide of variety of specialties and organises regular dive expeditions to offshore locations and others areas in the Bay Islands. He co-ordinates with our environmental projects and PADI’s Project Aware and also staffs on our ‘Instructor Development’ programs on a regular basis, which makes him a fantastic mentor for our Divemasters in training.  Eugene is the consummate professional and an outstanding role-model to our Divemaster interns, when he remembers to wear a shirt and is not swinging from ropes, but we’ll put this down to his time working in conservation in the Mexican jungle.

Jake Bulman Tec and Divemaster InstructorJake Bulman (Canada)
PADI IDC Staff Instructor, Tec Trimix Instructor, Rebreather Instructor, EFR Instructor, Specialty Instructor; Wreck, Nitrox, Equipment, O2 provider, Gas Blender, Underwater Photography, Deep, Sidemount, IYT Instructor

Jake’s family business is in maritime and yachting so it wasn’t long before he found his connection with the ocean via scuba diving.  Jake is a very passionate explorer and adventurer and has trained with us through to Trimix Instructor, the highest PADI Instructor rating in technical diving.  Jake is also a qualified PADI rebreather Instructor and runs rebreather try out dives for all our Divemaster candidates.  When not teaching diving Jake is often out exploring new deep sites on Utila and containing invasive lion-fish species to help protect the environment, so he is also great to know for delicious ceviches!

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