Dave O'Hara headshot

Dave O'Hara

ROV Pilot
ROV/HOV Specialist
The InDepth Group

Tell us about your work/research. What kinds of things do you do?

I am an ROV/Manned Submersible pilot technician and have been working in the industry since 2007 after a career in the Royal Navy. Over the years I have worked on many systems in both the Oil & GAs industry and on numerous Science/Exploration including 3 years in the South Pacific exploring new SMS Deposits and The search for Shackleton's Endurance in Antarctica.

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

Watching Dr Ballard find Titanic back in 1985 sent me down this path, I knew subsea exploration was what I wanted to do with my career, and everything I have done since then was with the end goal of becoming an ROV/HOV operator and doing what I can to continue the exploration of the world's oceans.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

The biggest influence has to be Tom Dettweiler, someone I have had the pleasure of working with for many years, more recently Mensun Bound, who has been quite influential over recent years, encouraging me to follow this passion and fulfill my goals.

What element of your work/study do you think is the most fascinating?

Every single dive is fascinating to me, they are never the same. Each dive finds something new, things I have never seen before, the discovery of new species, a new shipwreck, its why I go to work with a smile on my face every day, each day is filled with new discoveries.

How did you get involved with the Ocean Exploration Trust?

My resume was passed to Josh by a mutual colleague a couple of years ago, sometimes you just have to wait for the call.

What other jobs led you to your current career?

I spent 12 years in the Royal Navy as an engineer, learning my trades, always with the end goal of using them to help in becoming an ROV pilot.

What are your degrees and certifications?

I do not have a degree, I am very much a hands-on, take it apart to see how it works kind of guy.

What are your hobbies?

I am not so sure it can be called a hobby but in my time off I manage Rock Bands and run an events company that hosts Rock events across the UK, the flagship of which is a 3 day, 3 stage outdoor Rock Festival, this year hosting 54 bands.

What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?

Always be willing to learn, and where possible develop a skill set in a relevant trade (Hydraulics, Electronics etc) have a goal and do everything in your power to achieve it. Remain humble and respectful, learn from your peers and take bits from everyone you work with to help you develop.


Dave participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: