Watching Sea Hunt as a kid in the 1960s Mark was inspired to get a mask and snorkel and head down to the local beach in an effort to re-enact the exploits of his TV hero Mike Nelson.

Today Mark is the owner of Aquability Dive Centre, the leading technical diver training facility in Melbourne.

Mark Ryan Oztek 2017

An IANTD Advanced Trimix Instructor Trainer, IANTD Advanced Standard Dress Instructor Trainer, KISS Rebreather Instructor and PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, Mark is also the Founding Member and President of Southern Ocean Exploration, Vice President of the Maritime Archaeological Association of Victoria and a Councilor of the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology.

Mark Ryan Oztek 2017

In 2006 Mark received the Heritage Council of Victoria Award for his work in Maritime Archaeology with the locating and reporting of some of Australia’s most significant shipwrecks. A regular speaker on local radio, at local Lions, Probus, Dive Clubs and Community organisations Mark makes the most of every opportunity to promote Maritime Archaeology and the need to protect our shipwrecks.

Mark’s passion for the protection our Australia’s shipwrecks has at times put him at odds with some local technical wreck divers, however it has also aligned him with many like-minded divers who fully believe in the preservation of our underwater cultural heritage.

Mark Ryan Oztek 2017

Southern Ocean Exploration is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the:

  • Exploration of our maritime heritage around Southern and South Eastern Australia. This commitment is exemplified in their guiding principles.
  • Education is encouraged & promoted. We participate and conduct appropriate and ongoing training in diving techniques, methods, skills and maritime archaeology.
  • Preserving our underwater Maritime Heritage - shipwrecks are the archaeological record of a precise moment in time, our history. Once damaged, disturbed or lost they cannot be replaced.
  • Safety in all land based and on/underwater activities, safety is the primary concern for every team member. There procedures and risk mitigation strategies are designed to put safety first and deliver successful, repeatable outcomes.
Mark Ryan Oztek 2017

Southern Ocean Exploration (SOE) has located over a dozen shipwrecks in southern Australia, including the Kanowna, Queensland, Glenelg, and Alert. SOE has a close working relationship with Heritage Victoria and Heritage NSW. The team continue to search for shipwrecks and are always interested in hearing from like-minded divers.