Dave Meres

Dave Meres

Co-Owner & Instructor

Hailing from Aberdeen, Scotland, Dave left his corporate job to fulfill his dreams of becoming a dive professional and having a shop of his own.  Dave dedicates his expertise to the business behind the scenes as well as teaching courses himself. Thus begins our saga…

Katie O


Our resident Canadian visited Koh Tao many times before  leaving Montreal for good in 2018 to cultivate her passion for diving as an instructor. Katie has since explored multiple configurations and styles of diving and loves to help certified divers hone their skills. 

Portrait of Gary Robbins.

Gary Robbins

Co-Owner & Instructor

A celebrated chef in a former life, Gary left the UK in 2017 to sink his teeth into something new. He became a dive professional and quickly rose to be a head instructor at Roctopus Dive, Koh Tao for five years. Gary specializes in working with unsure divers, ensuring he can share his love of the sea with all those he teaches. 

James Lee

mission specialist

After establishing a successful business in the UK, James found that his thirst for adventure was calling him to reach for the stars. After discovering his love of the sea he became an instructor where his unique style and care set him apart. 

Erik Brown

Founder & Former owner

Erik is best known for his work in the largest rescue operation of his generation. He was part of the team of divers extracting 13 children trapped in a cave in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand in 2018. Erik is a world record diver, technical diving instructor, lecturer, and explorer. 

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The Hydronauts Story

Thus far...

Hydronauts Diving was founded with the vision that diving education and exploration must always keep reaching for what lies ahead and has yet to be discovered. 

Hydronauts was born in 2018 in Koh Tao, Thailand by technical diver and underwater explorer, Erik Brown. Erik’s work on the vanguard of safe diving principles and burgeoning dive equipment inspired him to work with RAID Asia and Chris Haslam to become one of the only dive centers in Southeast Asia to teach full courses in backplate and wing, long-hose and short-hose equipment configuration. 

This set up is the onramp to technical, multi-tank and decompression diving used by the world’s foremost explorers. By introducing technical equipment to recreational dive courses, Hydronauts seeks to equip divers with the latest technology and practices in the industry. 

During COVID, Erik sought new horizons in the Gulf of Mexico and sold Hydronauts Diving to his former student and friend, Dave Meres, who, leaving behind 30 years in oil and gas, fell in love with technical diving and Koh Tao. Dave’s collaborative and keen spirit lead him to join forces with Quebecquoise Katie O–a consummate diving instructor and long-time island resident– and James Lee–diver, marketer and former-business owner from London. Together, they planned to open Hydronauts as a lean, boutique dive center until a remarkable opportunity arose out of the COVID ashes. 

Hydronauts Diving–along with partners Nik and Robyn Hall –was offered the chance to acquire the 48-room beachfront property in Chalok Baan Kao Bay once known as the inimitable Buddha View Dive Resort. Buddha View was once one of the largest diving centers on Koh Tao and in Southeast Asia. It boasted PADI courses offered in 6 languages and employed and educated tens of thousands of divers. Hydronauts Diving became Hydronauts Diving Resort on 11 June 2022. 

The evolution of Hydronauts Diving Resort remains the joy, curiosity, and challenge of its partners-turned-friends. Dave, Katie, Robyn and Nik are proud owner-operators who delight in collaboration and continue their diving and entrepreneurial education everyday. 

Why Choose Hydronauts?​

RAID Instructors​

Our experienced instructors are hand-picked, highly trained, and passionate about scuba diving. We tailor each course and dive to your unique needs.

Beachfront Diving Resort​

Southwestern-facing diving resort including a hotel, purpose-built training pool, restaurant, dive boat, and beach bar. We offer diving & accommodation packages for every budget.

Guaranteed Small Groups

We guarantee small groups of no more than four students to an instructor or dive guide so that you get the individual attention you deserve.

State-of-the-Art Equipment

We choose to dive and teach in Backplate & Wing BCD with a Long-hose, Short-hose regulator configuration favored by technical divers.

Dive Anywhere in the World

Upon completion of your RAID scuba diving course, you will be issued with an e-certification card that recognizes you as an internationally certified scuba diver.

Low Carbon Footprint

We make every effort to reduce our footprint and use of paper and plastic. All our course materials are hosted online giving you access for life.

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