Born in West German, as a family we moved around a lot in my younger years – England, Cyprus and South Africa. I found my soul mate and married Kathy when I was 19 years old and we have two children.
My professional background
After finishing school, I worked as an Alarm Technician before doing a Maintenance Electrician apprenticeship and studying at technical college, after qualifying and working as an electrician, I was required to do my National Service (army) where I became a field engineer (Sapper) in the Engineers, mainly training for clearing land mines and explosives. After the first year of training, I went to the border doing operations in Southwest Africa (now Namibia) where I was based and mostly in Angola. I was injured laying a faulty land mine while laying a minefield on the border of Angola, losing my left hand and left eye in August 1988. In 1989 I started working at The Port Elizabeth Museum Oceanarium and Snake Park (now known as Bayworld), as a Junior Aquarist and promoted to Chief Nature Conservator. I gained a lot of experience as an aquarist, but also in other fields, including reptiles, sea turtle and marine animal rehabilitation, as a commercial skipper and research diver and dive supervisor. I also gained in experience in collecting aquarium specimens and collecting reptiles. I was part of the team who developed what was the best sea turtle rehabilitation programme in South Africa at the time. Additionally, I was involved with transporting dolphins from Port Elizabeth to Hong Kong Ocean Park where I stayed for a while for the acclimatisation of the dolphins and to learn about the jellyfish husbandry.
What I do on my spare time
I enjoy kayak fishing, fishing and occasionally snorkelling to look at corals, etc. Spending time with family and friends over the weekend enjoying a braai or potjies.