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Proud of Koh Tao

To say we are a little proud of the local community of cave, technical divers and rescue services here on Koh Tao after their recent superhuman efforts is just possibly the BIGGEST understatement ever made.

Koh Tao was proud and honoured to provide a stream of experts, equipment, and skills in two major international incidents here in Thailand over the last weeks.

Expat Co-Ordinator for Koh Tao Rescue the islands, voluntary emergency services agency Chris Pearson, helped to co-ordinate teams and equipment for both missions and described the needs as wide ranging, from Medical equipment to specialised diving skills, and there where specific individuals and Dive Operators who where instrumental in providing this support, and some became members of the official rescue teams.

The tight knit community here on Koh Tao means that we all know or are connected closely to at least one of these hero’s and whilst they where away from our tropical island paradise, in a true a reflection of the caring and supportive community that is Koh Tao, there was an outpouring of support on all levels. From messages of love and support from Dive shops, agencies, individuals and businesses, to offers and supplies of specialist equipment, expertise and people with appropriate skills sets.

We all held our breath… probably a little before the rest of the world because our understanding of the environments they where diving and the skills sets it required meant we truly knew the difficulties they where facing… we watched as people the media discussed possible solutions knowing that the challenges where far greater than anticipated as small bits of news leaked out to us from our friends…we worried for our boys as the risk level increased and when Saman Kuman lost his life during the preparations to evacuate the boys we wondered if it could be done...and perhaps with an even keener sense of relief we breathed out, with the rest f the world, knowing that all where safe and clear ….and or hearts swelled knowing what they had achieved. It was the same with the technical divers stationed on Phuket with a far less lauded job who all mustered their inner strength, girded themselves and got on with the job at hand summoning all their technical skills and abilities to assist the recovery efforts, stealing their nerves for the emotional ordeal that was theirs.

The danger and skill levels required for both missions are some that are possessed by only a handful of experts through out the world, as seen by the international response to the trapped team of 12 Thai Boys in Caves to the north of Thailand, and the team of largely Koh Tao based Technical Divers who responded to the incident on Phuket which unfortunately resulted in many fatalities. It cannot be understated the required levels of Knowledge and skill and sheer strength of character to continue in the most challenging conditions and the bravery required to continue no matter what. The danger that all of these brave souls faced is underscored by the tragic loss of a Navy Seals life during the Chang Rai Rescue. This brings home to me once again how proud I am to be part of a community which nurtures and supports theses individuals and provide this level of training and safety expertise in a small little corner of the world.

The real concern back on Koh Tao should perhaps have been what is happening to our safety infrastructure as we are a small island with limited resources, but fortunately there is a high standard of care provided by our emergency services and the community has rallied together to raise funds to support it over the previous years so the relative safety of Koh Tao was only served to be enhanced and appreciated by those of us that remained on island. And now that all are …almost returned home and we reflect I for one remain thankful that we live in one of the safest most picturesque parts of the world, with world-class rescue and safety teams. Of course like anywhere in the world accidents happen but with a safety record as good as we have and the standard and professionalism of emergency response units both for diving related incidents and land based rescues is superb. I am glad to be able to stand clear and proud and to have Koh Tao to be recognised for what it truly is to most of us call our home - a beautiful, safe place to be.

To find out more specifics of the individuals involved please read this article from the Washington Post

The Film Company's Rosemary Allen produces the Ban's and Sunshine divers performance for Koh Tao festival

The Film Company's very own Rosemary Allen, produced choreographed, directed and performed in the Ban's & Sunshine resort performance for the Koh Tao Festival 0n June 18th.

Not only that but the Film Co. crew got involved and assisted with making the props and filming the performance on the evening.

The festival is designed to raise awareness of the ecological issues surrounding the island and all the participants volunteer there time and efforts to ensure the success of the show.

Poli Nahum of Ban's made all of the basic structures on which the costumes where based and a crew including Berger, Sebastian, Hannah Griffiths, Krista Espilen, Gopi, Baz, Fai, and the DMT team at sunshine assisted with, cutting the cardboard shapes creating chicken wire sculptures, paper mache and painting.

Many thanks go to the cast - Natalie, Kim, Liz, Sebass, Hannah, Pannee, Taylor, Tom, Krista, Nyi, Nikki, Nat, Fai, Shay, Rocky, Kate, Piere, Duncan, Matt, Lars, Petra, Eleane, Emma, Julia, Fifi, and all the other sunshine DMT's

The show was a resounding success and to quote a source

"superb, the best yet!"

Watch this space for the up coming video.

Underwater Pregnancy Portraits with Melissa

Underwater Pregnancy Portraits by Rosemary Allen

Former underwater videographer Melissa Oliver, joined us again in February, but this time she wasn’t behind the camera but on the other side of the lens. We got together to celebrate and record a special time in her life. We where privileged to be asked to shoot some creative underwater portraits of Melissa during her pregnancy. We have been planning similar shoots for quite some time so, were very excited to get the project underway working with someone who we know well.

Our starting point was a series of images that Melissa had seen and found inspiring, we discussed what would be possible within the time frames and what would not be too strenuous on her and the baby. Working underwater  can be demanding and physical, so we had to be sure that our model was happy and safe during the shoot taking into consideration the pregnancy. Melissa is very experienced in the water so we knew just how far we could push the shoot.

Our team consisted of Lisa Denholm - make up artist, Lara Dakers - support diver, and Rosemary Allen, we also must give special thanks to Jeffery Glenn from Ban’s Technical Diving for his additional lighting help. The images where shot with a Tokina 10-17mm on a 7D with Inon Strobes. We shot towards the end of the day which helped with the crazy light effects but also posed other technical issues.

We love how beautifully serene Melissa looks and the lighting effects we managed to create. We didn’t quite pull off some of the ideas we had but we learnt a lot from the project and are looking forward to our next creative shoot which we are busy rubbing our hands with glee to get on with. Watch this space :)


Underwater Portrait by Rosemary Allen


Melissa masking light underwater pregnancy




PADI Pro Underwater Cinematographers footage helps make Indian TV show a resounding success

Back in January, thanks to Ban's Diving Resort and the Tourist Authority of Thailand, we worked with Perfect Ten, a travel show for NDTV Good Times in India. The show focuses on the ten "must do" things in each country and features Koh Tao as one of the worlds top Diving destinations.

Our very own, PADI Pro Underwater Cinematographer Michelle Gilham filmed the underwater shots and shots of the dive school for the TV crew, whilst an instructor from Ban's Diving Resort taught the presenter to dive. The show was released in April 2013 and reached an audience of approximately 42 million viewers on it's first showing.

NDTV Good Times is the flagship channel of NDTV Life Style and the show, previously called "Ten things…." won the APNENA english media award in 2011. The show is designed to offer travel tips to a young fashion conscious and adventurous audience.

Splash Dance n Swim - Little Mermaids on Koh Tao

2017 03 17 SplashDance 25

We were in the pool last week with Splash Dance and Swim and our budding merkids Isabella and Mia. The new course offered by Splash Dance and Swim is a Mermaid training, available to both locals and vistors alike and will consist of a pool training session and mermaid tail work followed by open water sessions with SplashDance 'n' Swims Director and fully qualified swim instructor Nicola. The Film Co.s Rosemary Allen will be available for bookings to get those precious underwater shots as the children gain their mermaid tails. Find out more at Alternatively try the facebook page.