Duncan graduated with a degree in marine biology from Sterling University in Scotland before heading south to work as a junior scientist and fisheries observer. During his time in the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica; Duncan began honing his filming skills, capturing stunning images and video of the amazing and unique wildlife. A stint at the Sharklab in Bimini, The Bahamas found Duncan more involved in various shark related film shoots. He returned as the media manager and began filming for National Geographic, BBC, Animal Planet and Discovery among others. Duncan created the media organization, OceanicAllstars as a means of bringing like-minded individuals together to create photos, videos and graphics to spread conservation messages. Duncan has been nominated for an Emmy for his work on the Animal Planet series Whale Wars, and was one of the main cameramen for the groundbreaking BBC series Shark.
Duncan travels the world filming sharks and other wildlife and combines a science background with his unique vision of the wild world to create powerful images he hopes inspire people to dive in, explore and take care of sharks and the planet. He is also the media director for Sharks4Kids.
Everlayn Borges is a Cuban-American, award-winning actress who has worked in theatre, television and film. Borges started her career as a professional dancer touring internationally for over five years as a principal and soloist for legendary singer Julio Iglesias. She successfully made the move into acting with her motion picture debut in Michael Mann’s thriller Miami Vice as Miss Cuba and more recently appeared in Claudio Risi’s Matrimonio alle Bahamas, an Italian comedy. In 2008, Borges starred in the critically acclaimed musical Miami Libre at the Adrienne Arsht Center and then went on to appear in the improve comedy, Tony and Tina’s Wedding creating riotous chaos in the regional production of the longest running off-Broadway comedy in history, directed by the show’s co-creator Larry Pelligrini.
Everlayn is both a PADI certified Open Water Diver and an AFF-trained skydiver and has conceptualized and performed various “Extreme” photo shoots for various luxury brands. She has appeared multiple times in Univision’s most popular show, Sabado Gigante. Everlayn’s TV credits also include Showtime’s series, Going to California, and HDNet’s series Get Out, which spawned an international fan base. Throughout her prolific career, Borges has performed in dozens of music videos for well-known musicians as well as TV commercials featuring globally recognized brands.
Everlayn’s story began in Matanzas, Cuba adjacent to the legendary town of Varadero Beach. She is the daughter of a professional musician father who was lost at sea in an attempt to escape and find freedom in the United States. Following up on her father’s legacy, Everlayn made her professional stage debut at the early age of 6. Later in life, at 17 years of age, she would fulfill her father’s dream of defection when, during a dance tour in Mexico, Everlayn jumped out of her hotel room and escaped into the night. Borges arrived in Miami, solo, and, through a dramatic unfolding of life events, she built a career as an actress in America.
Ted started his professional underwater career as a multi agency scuba instructor in 2005, while working at Tilden’s Scuba Center in Marathon Florida. In 2008, he took his first freediving class with Performance Freediving International (PFI) and was hooked. On his days off he didn’t want to go scuba diving, he wanted to go spearfishing and freediving. In 2009 he took PFI's first instructor program and starting working directly with PFI under the supervision of Kirk and Mandy the founders of PFI. Ted went to his first freediving competition in 2009 where he progressed from 90 ft to 177ft in 3 weeks. Ted later went to the freediving world championships in 2011; there he made it to the finals in Dynamic Apnea and broke the longest standings US Freediving record with a dynamic of 170m. In 2012 Ted was selected to be the Captain of the Men’s USA Freediving team. Ted’s deepest freedive to date is 279ft taking 2:47 seconds. In 2010 Ted started Immersion Freediving with the goal of teaching PFI programs in Fort Lauderdale. Ted has gone on to become a PFI Advanced Instructor and PFI Instructor Trainer, and was the first PFI instructor to obtain these ratings.
Ted runs classes year round in Fort Lauderdale, and is dedicated to spreading the word of safe freediving practices to spearfisherman. Ted created ten 1 minute Tuesday Tip videos specifically focused safety and regularly posts articles and tips on safety via his social media channels. Ted has been writing a freediving column in Spearing Magazine since 2013 and is proud to be the Official Freediving course of Spearing Magazine.
When Ted is not busy teaching freediving classes he is busy cooking some serious BBQ on his 2 Big Green Egg’s with the help of Sammy and Kathy. Ted’s favorite line as an instructor is, “Looks good, do it again!”
Born and raised in Maine, Jillian’s love for the ocean started at an early age and has continued to play an integral role in her adult life. She has spent thousands of hours in the field working and diving with sharks across the globe. She is a marine biologist, shark advocate, freediver, scuba instructor, explorer, educator, unabashedly obsessed with sharks and a lover of all things water. As the executive director of Oceanicallstars conservation media group, she combines her love of these animals with a passion for photo, video and writing. As a videographer she has worked with National Geographic, Discovery, BBC, Animal Planet, PBS, ESPN, ITV, E!, ABC and numerous other international networks. Her photography and writing has been featured in countless publications including Shark Diver Magazine and Ocean Geographic.
In 2012, after several years of working on the project, Jillian launched Sharks4Kids, Inc. Combining the filming, photography and science to create shark education curriculum, activities and videos to bring into the classroom. The goal is to create the next generation of shark advocates through education, outreach and adventures. Along with classroom visits and educational materials, Sharks4Kids is also providing opportunities for kids to snorkel with sharks and going on tagging expeditions. Jillian was named Scuba Diving Magazine’s July 2016 Sea Hero for her shark education and conservation work.
IG: @biminisharkgirl @sharkeducation
Forrest is a Florida native and grew up as a 3rd generation Oceanman. Utilizing freediving for UW photography ,hunting, recreation and exploration, Forrest has spent decades as a "student" to Mother Nature. In 2002 he began his journey of Freediving Safety Advocacy and continues to promote freediving safety through courses, public speaking, and freediving events throughout Florida. This amazing path set Forrest on a quest to learn as much as possible, taking as many Freediving courses as he could; thirsty to constantly improve and gain as much knowledge and skills as possible. This quest led to learning from instructors from multiple agencies as well as World class Freedivers, thus giving him a well rounded multi faceted set of skills and freediving knowledge.
Then came a childhood dream, the world of Competitive Freediving, where in 2015, and in his first Freedive Competition , Forrest surpassed the depth of 60 meters / 200+ ft while using traditional Spearfishing / Freediving gear: mask, snorkel, and bi-fins. Few Americans have accomplished such depth in the manner Forrest did. How was this accomplished? By utilizing techniques learned in the classroom, in the water and from countless incredible freedivers and world class athletes and freediving instructors..... these same skills and techniques are what Forrest uses in each and every freedive course he teaches.
IG: @go_native_freediving @wildforrest
Mandy started freediving two and a half years ago in Hawaii. Mandy went full throttle into this sport by learning as much as she could from many different freedivers in many different agencies. From the start, Mandy took level 1,2,3 Fii and entered into her first international competition within two months of starting to freedive. Over the past two years, Mandy has traveled the world to compete and it’s been incredible thus far, from being selected as part of Team USA Freediving, to many podium finishes in international freediving events including, becoming USA first World Champion and Gold Medal recipient, man or women, in United States history.
Mandy says “It’s been an amazing journey learning new things every day, meeting amazing people all over the world in competition or just for our shared love of this amazing sport and teaching all over the world the love, safety and respect for freediving.”
In 2015-2016, Mandy became an AIDA International judge, an AIDA, Fii and now PADI Freediving Instructor as well as just finishing her PADI Freediving Instructor Trainer certification. Mandy is the Owner/Operator of C2C Freediving (Coast to Coast Freediving) and working with PADI to teach, train and coach freediving all over the world.
“This new year will bring heaps of new training techniques for me as well as many international competitions including defending the Gold Medal at the AIDA Depth World Championships at the end of 2017. I’m really happy to be part of the Born of Water Team and will continue to promote safe and happy freediving to freedivers young and old, beginners to elite.”
Ryan Walton is a Professional Shark Diver, Brand Ambassador, Scuba Instructor, Cameraman and Adventurer. Upon becoming a Diving Instructor, Ryan realized how damaged, and how in danger our oceans are. After meeting fellow Conservationists, Ryan began his path to be an Underwater cameraman in hopes he could share the beauty of nature with those who may not get to see it.
Jaques Cousteau said, "people protect what they love." Ryan's goal is to make people love the ocean the way he does, so then they will protect it too.
In June 2016 Ryan became a Co-Owner at Deep Obsession Charters in Lake Park, FL. Ryan's plans for 2017 are to aid in the strengthening of Shark laws in Florida, and to help introduce more Marine Sanctuaries in Florida while still meeting as many new people as possible and sharing his love for the ocean and Sharks.
IG: @ryanwaltonofficial @deepobsession_charters
Cynthia Aguilar, has been a Florida Native since 1983. It was only up until a year ago, after working for over 11 years with Miami Beach Ocean Rescue, everyone thought she was Cuban. In Miami, people tend to assume that if you are una latina caliente, you are Cuban. Cynthia is actually, Nicaraguan by descent, but Miamian by birth. Her parents immigrated here from Nicaragua in the late ‘70s in order to escape war.
Cynthia says, “American, I am…and in Miami I live…surrounded by water.”
Cynthia has been drawn to the water for her entire life. She has been a swimmer for as long as she can remember. Her first memory is of swimming lessons at age 3 and swim team practice starting by age 5. “Following my affinity for my life as a fish, I found my first water-related passion in water polo. I was a Four-Time MVP in Water Polo for my high school, and earned the same honors in Swimming.” After she graduated, Cynthia decided to make a career of the things she loved - the ocean and swimming.
Cynthia begun her career with Miami Beach Ocean Rescue at just 19, she was the youngest hire at the time. Not only that, Cynthia was one of only three women at the time in a crew of nearly 100. Within that male dominated environment, she had to work harder to prove herself every single day. It was during Cynthia’s first few months working on Miami Beach that one of her supervisors introduced me to the prone paddleboard. Cynthia took to paddleboarding, naturally, and began competing. Needless to say, her speed in the water as a swimmer translated well to her speed on the water as a paddler.
Cynthia says, “My passion for paddling is a metaphor for my perspective on life. The idea of facing challenges one stroke at a time, no matter how the odds appear, is exactly how I wish to inspire others to live. That exact thinking led me to start a non-profit, Keep Paddlin’, which I managed for four years.”
Today, Cynthia continues her work with Ocean Rescue as an EMT, mixing her time between tower surveillance and the rescue boat. When she is not at work, she is training hard to take on the next great challenge…one stroke at a time.
PADDLE CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
Autumn Sherman lives in sunny south Florida and works for Deep Obsession Charters as a divemaster. She loves traveling and diving anywhere there is a chance to go on an adventure and have a good time. Autumn has always had a passion for the ocean. In her free time she likes hanging out at the beach, going out on boats, freediving, fishing and enjoying life in Florida. Her favorite place to travel to is the Bahamas because of the great fishing, diving and clear blue water. She has been an ambassador and worked for dive manufactures and apparel companies as a model for social media and product packaging.
The ocean has so many beautiful and amazing creatures to see. Her goal is to share them with the world. Autumn’s favorite aquatic creature to dive with are sharks! Doing dives with sharks is something she loves to do as much as she can. Especially when she is working on the boat and gets to be in charge of the bait crate for the shark dives. Autumn is a natural in the ocean and feels blessed to be able to explore the underwater world.