Meet The Team

Meet the Freedive UK Team and learn a little more

Ian Donald

AIDA instructor trainer and Freedive UK course director

Ian has taught a huge range of people to freedive, from all walks of life. His relaxed and inclusive approach to the sport means that no one will feel like they can’t achieve their full potential.

He holds the highest certification given by AIDA, ‘instructor trainer’, meaning he can teach others to be AIDA instructors. A title given to only the best AIDA instructors.

He is an expert in marine foraging and is the author of  ‘Underwater foraging -Freediving for food’,  An instructional guide to freediving, marine foraging and spearfishing.

Ian has been involved as a freediving expert in TV and film projects related to freediving and the natural world. His experience is often called upon for a wide range of projects around the world including extreme sports films, prime time TV and nature documentaries. You may have seen him on BBCs Countryfile or the One show to name a few. He has written pieces about freediving and spearfishing for magazines, national newspapers and digital media all in the hope that he can introduce more people to this wonderful lifestyle.

He has developed cutting edge training programs for pro athletes whose focus is not necessarily Apnea, including surfers and triathletes. Following on from this line of training, he has helped Royal Marine Commando PT instructors refine in water training techniques for recruits, giving Commandos more comfort in the water.

Richard Marsh

AIDA master instructor

Richard has been working with Freedive UK since its inception in 2009.

He is a natural waterman; A surfer, spearfisherman, sailor, coastguard and ex-oyster farmer. Rich has a deep connection with the ocean and a huge range of skills that all culminate in creating one of the best freediving instructors out there. Rich can be found on the majority of our summer courses and holidays.

He not only teaches courses in Cornwall but also runs the courses in our Devon operation.

In classic Freedive UK style, expect his teaching to be relaxed and fun.

Oli Cacioppo

AIDA instructor

Oli started with FreediveUK in 2018 and quickly dedicated every spare moment to training and therefore gained his Instructors certification in early 2021 after a trip to Egypt.

Oli has seemingly unlimited energy, and always passes in his enthusiasm for both freediving and spearfishing to his students.

If hes not teaching, hes gone diving!

Shaun Pammenter

AIDA instructor

Shaun started diving with FreediveUK many years ago, working his way through the certifications in between working as a professional sailor and Rugby player.

He now splits his time between teaching Freediving and spearfishing with FreediveUK and the occasional regatta.

Like all the team, Shauns style is relaxed and inclusive, focusing on the students individual needs and never rushing anyone to complete a task.

Jaymz Flood

AIDA instructor

Jaymz came on our first trip to Iceland in 2012 after searching for a freediving course! He has been a regular attendee of our foreign trips since then. He completed his instructor requirements over the course of 2 trips and finally in 2021 completed all elements needed to become an instructor.

He now assists on courses in Cornwall but primarily focuses on running our courses in West Wales.

Matt Hill

AIDA assistant instructor

 Matt is an avid Spearfisherman first  diving when he was 16 years old.  Entering national competitions as a junior he was the British junior spearfishing champion 3x over.  Over the years he continued to compete in national competitions. He is currently working towards his full AIDA instructor qualification with FreediveUK, assisting alongside the Instructors and running spearfishing courses. he is currently a serving Royal Marine commando.

Sam Barnes

AIDA instructor

Sam started his freediving journey with FreediveUK in 2013 and it was immediately apparent that here was a man with a natural talent. His first ever static breath-hold was over 5 minutes and he continued to impress through all his courses. He finished his 4 star training with us in 2014 before going to the Philippines to complete his instructor course with Jean-Pol Francois (Ex AIDA educational officer and instructor trainer) where he passed with flying colours. 

Lissy Raymond

Assistant instructor

Lissy has worked with us on holiday since the very beginning and is a great asset whenever we have the chance to work with her. 

She is AIDA level 4 but is definitely more capable than her qualification and will surely one day be an instructor.

Emily Holmes

Operations manager

Emily is the cornerstone of the Freedive UK operation. Managing bookings, schedules, organising holidays and keeping the rest of the team in line. Without Emily, there wouldn’t be a Freedive UK!

Your contact with Emily may be limited to email and phone calls unless you come on one of our holidays, where you will find her organising the whole event and slaving away in the kitchen creating delicious home cooked meals for the guests.

We are now operating as normal!