Dive Crew

Vincent Chew
Director

Vincent is the Singaporean Owner and Managing Director of White Manta Diving. A former Naval and Commando diver.  He has 35 years of diving experience and has spent 27 years doing diving business. A PADI Instructor since 1990, Vincent is still diving every month and is very passionate about what he does. He particularly loves meeting new people on dive trips and building new dive boats.

His all-time favourite dive destinations are Raja Ampat, Komodo and Banda Sea. Vincent's next dream is to build a diving pool for his diving family and instructors working for White Manta.

 
Maximilian Hand
Operations Manager

Max learnt to dive in the refreshingly cool waters of the UK in 1999 and has continued to dive in many amazing countries and dive sites. Based in Phuket since 2006, Max is living his dream by working as an instructor. Whether he is teaching, guiding, or just talking about fishes, he wishes to share his passions with every diver. He does that at White Manta Diving as the office "Dive Desk Jockey". Although he does not get wet as often these days, he is always ready and willing to answer your queries and helping you plan your diving adventures. Max's personal creed is: Dream the Dive, Dive the Dream.

 

CRUISE DIRECTORS

 
Christopher Hutton
Cruise Director (CD) KM Raja Manta

Chris moved to Thailand in 2005 to pursue his dream of becoming a dive instructor. While working with another dive shop there in 2006, he met Vincent who was instantly impressed with Chris's work ethic. After some initial stints in 2006 as a freelance instructor and cruise director in Thailand's Similan Islands, all with White Manta, Chris was hired full-time in 2007 as the CD on the MV White Manta (Panthip). In time, he graduated to become the CD of MV Black Manta until it moved to Indonesia in 2011 and was replaced in Thailand by the new MV White Manta (now KM Raja Manta in Indonesia since August 2016). 

Schooling fish and marine biodiversity alongside other like-minded individuals are his favourite aspects of diving. The manta ray is his favourite fish; whale sharks appear to be attracted to him, but he associates with the humble seahorse the most. He loves making new friends and sharing special moments with them underwater. 

 
Cedric Lesenechal
Cruise Director (CD) KM Blue Manta

Cedric was born and raised in France. He travelled extensively, discovered diving and fell in love with it. His itchy feet have kept him away from France and instead led him to a life as a scuba instructor, teaching in Spain, Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. 

As cruise director of KM Black Manta from 2011- 2015, Cedric is having the time of his life and fulfilling many of his passions by diving in the most bio-diverse waters in the world, free-diving, expanding his love of languages, seeing so many divers happy on our trips, and even entertaining our guests with his guitar and songs. The happiness, enjoyment, and safety of all our guests are his goals. As for the diving in Indonesia, it will simply blow you away with its abundance and beauty. It is his honour and privilege to show you this and more. In May 2016, Cedric became CD of KM Blue Manta.

 
Mike Thomas

Mike has worked as cruise director, ass. CD & instructor on both the East and West coasts of Thailand, and the incredibly rich and diverse waters of Komodo National Park in Indonesia. He now assists Max with operations in the office but regularly joins our vessels.

As a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, Mike has more than 500 certifications and plenty of experience looking after both experienced and new divers alike. When diving, Mike is a little old-fashioned in that all his favourite underwater inhabitants are bigger than him. If there is a shark, manta, dolphin, turtle or whaleshark in the water – that is when he is at his happiest! However, on the numerous occasions that the big guys are hiding away from the reef, Mike is more than happy to scour the underwater world for the macro life that excites even the most jaded underwater photographer.

 
Ross Pooley
KM Raja Manta

A British born instructor working permanently in Indonesia for the last 6 years, Ross has harboured a passion for marine life since he was a young boy. He studied marine biology, so an initial career in transport management was a distraction from what he truly longed to do. He got involved in a conservation project in the Seycchelles in 2009 and began work in Indonesia on a resort in Raja Ampat in 2010. His introduction to liveaboard diving came with Black Manta in 2015. His infatuation with all forms of marine life has developed further with his liveaboard experiences to the further frontiers of Indonesia. Underwater, he adrenalises in current rich dives, on the surface he enjoys to educate passionately his knowledge of marine ecology.


 

DIVEMASTERS

 

Stanny Manoppo
KM Raja Manta

From a small island off the tip of North Sulawesi, Stanny has been diving since 2000, starting guiding in a resort in Manado, doing day trip dives to Bunaken, Lembeh & Bangka. Since 2003 he has been guiding divers on liveaboards. We first met Stanny when we were invited to participate in 'Sail Bunaken 2009' with MV Black Manta. His lively manner, enthusiasm and industrious attitude to helping our divers impressed us. So much, that we were delighted when he joined us in 2011, when we started operating in Indonesia. Stanny is an inspirational member of the team who regularly entertains guests with his musical jams and impressive finds underwater!

 

Handri Tulenan
KM Raja Manta

Handri is from a small fishing family in Lembeh, near Bitung in North Sulawesi. Therefore, the ocean is in his blood. He was introduced to scuba diving in 2008, providing him with a platform to encourage and share with others the 'jewels of the sea'. Handri is a much loved member of the dive team. He joined us in February 2013, having guided divers on another liveaboard in Raja Ampat. A natural showman, and perfect foil with Stanny to entertain the guests in and out of the water. Handri is also known as 'Magneto' owing to his uncanny ability to attract the fishes of your desire.

 

 

Herdianto Bando (Anto)
KM Raja Manta

Anto hails from Banggai Island, where the Banggai cardinalfish were first found. He started work on liveaboard diving boats first as boat crew in 2004. He started diving later that year and instantly fell in love with the underwater aspect of the marine industry. Therefore, he became divemaster and a very good one! Anto has an eye for detail, finding critters that many of us have never witnessed before. In January 2012 he joined KM Black Manta and is an intergral part of the 'Dream Team'. Widely considered as one of the best DM teams in all of Indonesia!

  

INSTRUCTORS

 
Michael Smith

Michael has been diving since 1989 and has visited many iconic dive sites around South East Asia & the Caribbean (Similan and Surin islands of Thailand, Raja Ampat, Komodo Islands, Ambon, Maumere, Flores, Anambas Islands, Bali, the Lembeh Straits, Badas Islands, Banda (Spice) Islands, Layang Layang, Kota Kinabalu, Sipadan Island, the Maldives, Boracay, Malapascua and East Timor as well as in Utila, Honduras and Grand Cayman).

Michael's first dive with White Manta Diving was in July, 2002 on the old MV Vincent. That trip and another in the following month were among his most memorable to date and convinced him to earn his Dive Master's certificate with Vincent in April, 2003. 

Michael continued to upgrade his skills and earned his Open Water Scuba Instructor certificate in April 2005, his Emergency First Response Instructor certificate in November 2005 and his Master Scuba Diver Trainer rating in May 2009. Michael's experience and keen interest in the service industry, underwater photography, marine biology, human physiology and teaching children all benefit him greatly in his work as an instructor with White Manta Diving.

 
Christopher von Mitschke-Collande

Christopher first discovered the underwater world in 2001 and was hooked instantaneously. He qualified as a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor in 2003 and soon thereafter, he was certified as Master Scuba Diver Trainer in 2004. He started divemastering and instructing first in Sydney, and subsequently, in Singapore.  He began diving with White Manta Diving as a guest in 2003 and enjoyed the boats and working with the team so much that he quickly became a freelance divemaster and instructor for them. 

So strong is Christopher's passion for the sport that even the 4° C waters of theBavarian lakes did not deter him during his short sojourn back in Germany in 2011. However, the warm balmy waters of South East Asia and its superior marine life lured him back to this region on the White and Black Mantas in no time.

  

Glenn Wright

Glenn started diving in the sunny land of Kuwait! After moving to Dubai, Glenn started out on the Technical diving route with TDI, completing Nitrox and Advanced Nitrox courses before deciding to go the teaching route. Glenn moved to Singapore in February 2001 and started doing some DM work with Big Bubble Center, doing the weekend trip to Pulau Aur via Mersing!

A chance meeting resulted in Glenn diving on the MV Vincent, still operating out of Mersing. Then that infamous day over the Easter weekend in 2004 that the MV Oriental Queen rammed an island and sank! That ended up with Glenn doing DM trips on the former MV White Manta (MV Panthip) and over the years, as the company matured; to MV Black Manta and the to the new MV White Manta launched in 2011.

Favourite dive sites in Malaysian/Indonesian/Singaporean waters: Igara wreck,Tokong Malangbiru, Pulau Repong, Pulau Renggis, and Jack Rock.

 

 
Parnupong Norasethkamol(Nu)
Black Manta photo/videographer

Nu is from Bangkok, Thailand and was an architect by profession before he decided to pursue his underwater love. He worked as a dive guide in Thailand, Burma, Palau and Indonesia. In 2010 he combined his passion of photography, diving, arts and start his new career as a full-time videographer on liveaboard. He enjoy sharing his passion of the marine life, ocean and photography with everyone onboard. His favourite dive sites are Komodo, Raja Ampat and Banda Sea.