About Us

Our Scuba Lessons Inc. Professional Scuba Instruction Co-Op Partnership Team

tinaTina O’Connell, Founder, and President | Silver Level SSI Instructor

Regions: Lehigh Acres, Sarasota, Naples, Venice, Lake Wales, Sebring, Avon Park, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Key Largo, Kissimmee, Cape Coral, Ft. Myers, West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Melbourne, Sebastian, and Tampa.

 

 

 

Professional Certifications:

  • PADI Divemaster DSD
  • NAUI Instructor
  • NAUI Advanced Instructor
  • NAUI Rescue Instructor
  • SSI SILVER Instructor
  • SSI Advanced Instructor
  • SSI Night Diving and Limited Visibility Specialty Instructor
  • SSI Wreck Diving Specialty Instructor
  • SSI Stress & Rescue Specialty Instructor
  • SSI Science of Diving Specialty Instructor
  • Snorkeling Instructor
  • SSI Search & Recovery Specialty Instructor
  • SSI Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty Instructor
  • SSI React Right Instructor | First Aid, CPR, O2, AED
  • SSI Perfect Buoyancy Specialty Instructor
  • SSI Deep Diving Specialty Instructor
  • DAN Basic Life Support: CPR and First Aid Instructor
  • DAN First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Instructor
  • DAN Emergency Oxygen for Scuba Diving Injuries Instructor
  • DAN Neurological Assessment Instructor

Tina an avid scuba instructor was born and raised in Florida. This experienced dive instructor knows how to show you the most exciting part about scuba diving because of her many years exploring the state

Tina playing with a manatee in the springs
Tina playing with a manatee in the springs

underwater.  Tina could swim before she could walk at only 3 months old and jokes that she was born with mermaid feet and an innate ability to swim.  Therefore she feels that mermaids must then exist because she feels she was most certainly born as one.  Hence, the mermaid logo.  She was actually born with webbed feet, she is really not crazy, well at least not the insane type of crazy.  She does maintain quite an adventurous spirit.  Her adventures certainly started early and will never stop.  Her version of a good day in the winter is playing with manatees and in the summer with sharks.   Tina knows all the greatest spots in Florida. Tina has worked as a dive guide & divemaster as well as volunteer service and volunteer leadership in several marine ecology organizations, as well as our very own Conservation Scuba Club serving as president for over twelve years and in that time has traveled and dove all over the state.  She has logged over 3,000 dives and many more miles, memories, and stories she can share.

She has an encyclopedia of diving knowledge in her head and enough experience, as well as a tremendous amount enthusiasm for saving the underwater environment.  Her primary goal in life is teaching others to love the water and care for it like she does.  To do this she teaches them how to get under and dive and appreciate it and understand the damage being done and how to fix it.  She provides really fun opportunities for regular divers to do extraordinary things to save the oceans and wildlife around it.

Tina takes extreme pride in ensuring her students are happy, safe, properly trained and wanting more opportunities for ecology underwater.  Tina has worked hard to create these opportunities to help the underwater world for everyday divers through the conservation club she started years ago.  Tina specializes in Family Scuba Adventures, Underwater Ecology and related training, DiveTravel, Scuba E-commerce, Family, Couple and Singles Scuba courses, Refresher courses for beginners, Advanced training through leadership levels. Tina also is our founder, dive club event organizer, webmaster and online store e-commerce manager who is constantly getting good deals for club members! Yes, she is the cook and bottle washer too.


581887_10200202963689524_989110218_nFord Turner, Gold Level SSI Instructor | Under Pressure Sports Dive Center Owner & Partner to Scuba Lessons Inc.

Regions: The entire state of Florida.  This guy travels.

 

 

 

 

Professional Certifications:

  • NAUI Instructor
  • NAUI Advanced Instructor
  • NAUI Rescue Instructor
  • NAUI Master Diver
  • SSI GOLD 500 Instructor
  • SSI Advanced Instructor
  • SSI Night Diving and Limited Visibility Specialty Instructor
  • SSI Wreck Diving Specialty Instructor
  • SSI Stress & Rescue Specialty Instructor
  • SSI Science of Diving Specialty Instructor
  • Snorkeling Instructor
  • SSI Search & Recovery Specialty Instructor
  • SSI Enriched Air Nitrox Specialty Instructor
  • SSI React Right Instructor | First Aid, CPR, O2, AED
  • SSI Perfect Buoyancy Specialty Instructor
  • SSI Deep Diving Specialty Instructor
  • DAN Basic Life Support: CPR and First Aid Instructor
  • DAN First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Instructor
  • DAN Emergency Oxygen for Scuba Diving Injuries Instructor
  • DAN Neurological Assessment Instructor

Ford is the sweetest person you ever want to meet.  He really cares about people and it shows in his work.  He makes sure every student is trained for real emergencies, how to handle them and what to do and he is not afraid to surprise you with shutting off your air or something similiar so if your training with Ford be ready always.  He is extremely good at what he does and is the best guy for the gear.


TERITeri S. Franks, Instructor (currently on hiatus), Manager E-commerce Sister Sites

Regions: Daytona, Destin, & North Florida 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professional Certifications:

  • PADI Dive Master
  • PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor
  • PADI Emergency First Response Instructor
  • PADI Master Open Water Scuba Instructor
  • PADI Staff Instructor

Teri is a truly professional Scuba Diver Trainer with the sweetest heart and the biggest smile and the one everyone loves to train under. Teri trains divers
of all ages and specializes in Open Water Scuba Certification, Advanced, and Junior PADI, Seal Team and Bubble Maker courses for kids (and adults) ages
9 and up, yes that includes you! The years of sharing her dream with others have developed her with strong skills and extensive experience keeping you
safe & sound and smiling!

“It is a good feeling to change people’s lives. I love to work with families. Children are just the best students as they are always a quick study. I pride myself on providing Patient, thoroughly detailed, confident and safe instruction both under the water and in the classroom for both children and adults.”

 


johnJohn A. Franks, PADI OWSI, Instructor, U.S. Army Ranger (ret.), U.S. Coast Guard Master Captain (ret.)  

Regions: Daytona, Destin, & North Florida

 

 

 

 

Professional Certifications: 

  • PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor
  • U.S.C.G. 500 Ton Vessel Captain
  • U.S. Army Ranger
  • Florida Dive Boat Captain

Captain John Franks has held a 500 ton US Coast Guard Masters License for 16 years. (Operating in North Florida areas)
John became an Open Water Scuba Instructor in 1982. He is a former Army Ranger who graduated from the Special Forces Combat Diver Course in Key West, Florida
1983. John was then assigned to the US Army Dive Detachment during Operation Desert Storm. After retiring from the Army he went back to his love of SCUBA
operating live-aboard dive vessels all over from St. Martin to St. Kitts, Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas. He also enjoyed being a dive boat captain in Destin, Florida.


 

louLou McCall,  Instructor & Senior Training Manager West Coast

Trainer | Director Tampa, St. Pete, Clearwater Beach, Ybor, Bradenton regions

 

 

 

 

Professional Certifications:

  • Naui Instructor Trainer
  • SDI Instructor Trainer
  • TDI Instructor
  • Instructor-Handicapped Scuba Association HSA
  • NAUI Instructor
  • NAUI First Aid, CPR, O2, AED, Blood-Borne Pathogens, Marine Life Injuries
  • NAUI Nitrox/EANx Instructor
  • NAUI Technical Deep Diving
  • NAUI Technical Night Diving
  • NAUI Technical Dry Suit Diving
  • NAUI Technical Gas Blending
  • Instructor Visual Inspection Procedures (VIP) for Scuba Tanks
  • Certified Repair Technician for Oceanic, Zeagle, and Atomic Products

Lou has taught for over twenty years and a few hundred students carry his signature on their cards. Lou started North Atlantic Cold Water Shipwreck diving and has over 1,000 dives logged not just in the cold north, also in the Caribbean, Canada, California, Hawaii, and every state from the East coast of Maine down to Florida. Basically said, Lou is a pro! Lou’s philosophy towards diving instruction is straight from the NAUI Credo “any individual who possesses the mental and physical
abilities to dive; and the desire to do, so can be taught to dive by a patient, capable, NAUI Instructor who will work with the person until the person is qualified to dive safely.”

Lou is also quite a dive history buff and has published articles in various SCUBA Media as well as the Journal of Underwater Education. Lou is also a Board Guide (one of 4) on ScubaBoard.com.

 


JonathanJonathan B. Dickenson, Freediving Instructor | Apnea Diving Program Director

Regions: Orlando to West Palm and everywhere in between

Professional Certifications:

  • F.I.I. Level I Freediving Instructor
  • Jr. Freediver Instructor
  • PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor
  • 100 ton Coast Guard Captain

Jonathan has been diving since he was 12 years old. He was trained by a 14-time world record holder, Martin Stepanek and began his freediving instructing career
in February of 2011. Currently, he has a maximum breath hold of 4 minutes and a maximum depth of over 120 feet. He is currently in the Air Force Reserves and has been serving for four years with plans to continue serving our country until God says otherwise. He loves freediving because it is a challenging yet extremely relaxing sport. Jonathan remarked, “I am just at peace when i am diving, there is just something about it that taps into our primal instincts that I just can’t get over.” Jonathan says that he has yet to work a day in his life because it is not work when you enjoy what you do!


dori1Dori Brenes, NAUI Assistant Instructor | Divemaster Intern | Conservation Kidz Founder & Board President | Event Organizer

Regions: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale By the Sea and West Palm Beach

Certifications: 

  • PADI Open Water Diver
  • PADI Advanced Diver
  • PADI Rescue Diver
  • NAUI Advanced Rescue Diver
  • NAUI Assistant Instructor

Dori has a heart of gold and her buoyancy makes her look angelic underwater.  She has a connection with the life underwater like nothing I have ever seen.  Turtles, Arrow Crabs, even sharks will come right up and gently say hello and then hang out for pictures before saying goodbye.  Its amazing to have her leading your dives.  She knows the waters in South Florida like the back of her hands and is strong and patient and kind.  You are in good hands when she is participating in the class programs.   Dori is the champion of our conservation kidz program as it was originally her idea!  She organizes some of our best club dives and helps in eco activities when he is not busy raising her imfamous daughter Sara the Shark Whisperer or being Shark mom for one of two charities that she holds board leadership roles over.  Dori manages much of the administration and event organization and fundraising for both Shark Whisperer Organization and for the Love Sami organization.  Biggest ‘Sea Heart’ I have ever met!


SaraDollSara Brenes, Divemaster Intern | Shark Whisperer 

Regions: Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale By the Sea and West Palm Beach

Certifications: 

  • PADI Open Water Diver
  • PADI Advanced Diver
  • PADI Rescue Diver

Me-and-Fabien-Cousteau-682x1024Sara fell in love with diving and sharks in her young teens and after viewing a documentary about sharks called ‘Shark Water’ by Rob Stewart she worked diligently from that moment forward to create a realm of protection for sharks through her educational programs, awareness projects and any other way she could figure out.  She became somewhat of a celebrity in
the West Palm Beach region and works tirelessly to advocate for sharks.

Sara has just completed training in college in Marine Biology and is still attending.  She working towards her degree now and also working just as hard towards her SSI Divemaster Certification program she just started with13087239_1716554051956469_5864032075527143821_o Scuba Lessons Inc. on a full scholarship she earned for the environmental work she has achieved.  226728_10201406258823457_2147388252_n

Sara is mentored by the likes of some pretty famous guys in the industry including Fabian Cousteau (Jaque Cousteau’s Grandson), Stan Waterman (Jaque Cousteau’s Cinematographer), Guy Harvey (Marine Artist), Robert Wyland (Marine Artist) and Jim Abernathy (Discovery Channel and National Geographic Professional Photographer) as well as others in the industry who also stand for sharks and support her efforts.

We at Scuba Lessons Inc. do tend to boast a bit about sweet Sara but she is the most humble, sweet, kind, angel of a girl you ever want to meet.  The only time you will see her get mean is if you mess with her beloved sharks.


156146_3410739785079_604232148_nCara Noland, NAUI Assistant Instructor | Divemaster Intern | Event Organizer

Regions: Lehigh Acres, Sarasota, Naples, Venice, Lake Wales, Sebring, Avon Park, Orlando, Miami, West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Key Largo, Kissimmee, Cape Coral, Ft. Myers

Certifications: 

  • NAUI Open Water Diver
  • NAUI Advanced Diver
  • NAUI Rescue Diver
  • NAUI Advanced Rescue Diver
  • NAUI Assistant Instructor

Cara A.K.A. ‘Crazy Cara’ is one person you always want to join you on an adventure.  Other than her ever-presence and ninja-like stealth moves to make the class proceed seamlessly she is usually busy cracking us all up in complete laughter.  Cara is serious when it comes to diving but only enough to be a safe and responsible divemaster intern.  This zany, fun, patient, and sweet girl knows her scuba stuff well and will be done before the end of this year with all her Dive Master requirements.  She keeps the students safe, gear ready and is always on the lookout for an opportunity for a practical joke.  So look out world! Here comes Cara!



10862550_10155449577328125_2961347377570647085_oCorey Bowlin, Divemaster Intern

Regions: South Florida and West Palm Beach

Certifications: 

  • NAUI Open Water Diver
  • NAUI Advanced Diver
  • NAUI Rescue Diver
  • NAUI Advanced Rescue Diver

Corey is just beginning his divemaster internship but he is strong, kind, patient and learns extremely fast.  This ‘Good ol boy’ will be climbing the ranks in no time.


GlynnGlynn Hathaway, Assistant Instructor | Divemaster Intern

Regions: Brevard, Central Florida and West Palm Beach

Certifications: 

  • NAUI Open Water Diver
  • NAUI Advanced Diver
  • NAUI Rescue Diver
  • NAUI Advanced Rescue Diver
  • NAUI Assistant Instructor

Glynn has a strong work ethic and super buoyancy skills. He is vigilant and watchful, just what we love in our Divemaster Interns. Glynn organizes some of our club dives and helps in eco activities when he is not busy raising his two beautiful children.  Glynn’s has worked hard for many months to get where he is. Some day you will find him on his own dive boat in the Bahamas!


alex2Alex, Divemaster Intern

Regions: Brevard, Central Florida and West Palm Beach

Certifications: 

  • PADI Open Water Diver
  • PADI Advanced Diver
  • PADI Rescue Diver
  • PADI Advanced Rescue Diver
  • PADI Assistant Instructor

Alex has trained with the best, our very own Teri Franks through her Open Water Certification, her Advanced, yes all five specialties, her Rescue Diver training and now is undertaking the divemaster course, the most challenging of all. Through all of it Alex keeps us laughing hysterically and always having fun! Alex will be interning with Trainers here at Scuba Lessons Inc. Our students, therefore, get the benefit of having a trained professional rescue diver or divemaster along with thier intructors through most inwater courses for added safety. Alex is just so much fun to dive with anyway.


danoDan O’Connell, NAUI Asst. Trainer, Divemaster Intern and C.F.O.

Regions: Lehigh Acres to West Palm

Certifications:

  • PADI Advanced Diver
  • PADI EANx | Nitrox Diver
  • PADI Rescue Diver
  • NAUI Assistant Instructor

Dan is an Advance diver with some pretty advanced talents. These advanced talents include advanced tank shlepping, advanced gear hauler and washer and advanced repair technician.  He also fixes anything and everything else that goes wrong.  Dan’s main job that keeps him very busy is accounting.  Imagine trying to manage cash flow while Tina is busy giving all the cash to our 22 different underwater charities we support.  He has the toughest job of all of us.  Thanks Dan for keeping us in the black and in the blue!

 


Come enjoy a magical dream with our professional scuba team today!

Don’t wait to see the rest of the world!