Meet the Lanta Diver Team
Lanta Diver are very proud of the dedicated and hardworking staff we employ. All of the team have been on the island for over 5 years now, so we have a good understanding of the local community as well as the diving here! Lanta Diver was originally set up by Swedish partners Ulf, Maj-Britt and Thomas who successfully ran the company for 18 years. In 2017 they decided to move on to new pastures and sold the business to Swedish couple Raymond and Kristin Hellmark. We all look forward to exciting times ahead with new owners at the helm. This ensures that you have the best day out we can give you. All of our staff are experienced in the diving industry and having dived many places around the globe. Our staff come back year after year to guide and teach in some of Thailand’s best diving spots. Meet the talented, motivated and passionate faces behind Lanta Diver!
Raymond – Owner / PADI Instructor
In the year 2000 Raymond completed his PADI Open Water course in Phuket. There wasn´t much diving done after that due to family commitments and work. In 2014 the whole family took some time out and visited Koh Lanta and started diving again. He then fulfilled his Dive master course with Lanta Diver and joined their dive staff team for the rest of the season. Once back in Sweden he worked at a Swedish dive center named Alpin & Dyksport. The same place where he also became an instructor.
In 2017 Raymond and his whole family decided to move to Koh Lanta and to run Lanta Diver. The big step is a lifelong dream for the family. Raymond left a job as Business Development Director at a Company called Flygbussarna. During his time in Sweden his job entailed being Sales Manager, Marketing Manager and IS/IT Manager which will come in useful when running Lanta Diver. As the new owner of Lanta Diver he is looking forward to upholding the great reputation of Lanta Diver, whilst installing his own take on how the business can be run. He looks forward to be a part of the local life on Koh Lanta. Not only a part of the diving industry but also be a part of making Koh Lanta more environmental care taking.
Raymond can be found either in the shop or on the boats teaching or guiding and sharing his passion for the diving around Koh Lanta.
Kristin – Owner
Kristin, one of the owners of Lanta diver, completed her Open water course in Stockholm, Sweden in the year 2003 and her advanced course here on Koh Lanta 2013. Her first visit to Lanta was in 2001 and she has been on vacations with the family since 2005. Kristin comes from Stockholm, Sweden and is married to Raymond. Together they have three kids Nora (16), and the twins Kerstin and Dennis (13). Also part of the family is Mr Charlie the dog and their three cats Thaow, Nisse and Junior. Kristin has traveled a lot and loves South east asia, especially Thailand, and big cities!
Kristin loves the beach, the ocean and meeting new people! She has been working as a social worker and a cognitive behavior therapist for 18 years. Thrilled to be able to combine two passions; diving and working with people, she hopes that her experience of helping people with both emotional, practical and life changing issues will be an asset both to staff and costumers.
Kristin can be found in the shop and occasionally on one of our boats.
Raymond and Kristin have been living on Koh Lanta for the past three years and know Lanta Diver very well. Kristin has been involved with many community based projects on the island since they arrived. In year 2017 they sold everything in Sweden and moved full time to Koh Lanta.
Raymond and Kristin have great experience in the hospitality and service industry and Raymond has been a PADI Instructor for over five years now. Diving is their passion which they hope to share with you.
Julie – Shop Manager / PADI instructor
Julie has been diving since 2003 and living full time on Lanta since 2005. Her first introduction to diving was completing the Open water course with Lanta Diver and she then returned to work for them as a Divemaster in 2004. She became an instructor in 2005 and has not looked back since. Julie lived in London and worked as a lawyer for 12 years until in 2002 she decided to take a year off to travel.Traveling throughout Asia, India and Australia she by chance stumbled across Koh Lanta in 2002.
A two week stay on a Thai beach for Christmas turned into a life changing event. Her 10 years working as an Instructor gave her the challenge of teaching students to dive and the reward of introducing them to the underwater world for the first time. A natural progression was to eventually run the Divemaster trainee courses for Lanta Diver and to have the honour of having trained many past and present staff. Not so much in the water now, but you can find her most days in our main shop making sure everything runs smoothly for the many customers we have diving with us year round. When she does have time to get back in the water the fun and excitement is still there even after all these years!
Bow – Shop Assistant / PADI instructor
Bow is one of our staff who has worked the longest with us and has been around since 2002. She left her jobs as a computer programmer/system analyst in Bangkok and came to Koh Lanta as she had enough of the big city life. As most people she came to Koh Lanta for short holiday, but she managed to find herself a job as a resort manager! However, after two weeks she realized that it was not what she wanted to do.
Bow decided to do a diving course before she left Koh Lanta. She took her Open Water Course taught by her friend who was working for Lanta Diver at the time. Her friend then approached Bow to offer her a job as we always want Thai staff to join our team. This was even before Bow finished her Open water course! Bow managed to complete the Open Water course up to dive master course and join our team as a dive guide and also helping us in the office. Bow then went on to complete her PADI instructor course in 2006. Although these days Bow does not do much guiding and teaching, but you can find her in our main office in Saladan town or in the ocean which she loves.
Nick – Professional Underwater Photographer
Diving has been Nick’s passion now for over twelve years after doing his Open Water Course in Utila, Honduras. He has dived many continents and seen a huge variety of marine life, but the beauty of diving is no matter how much experience you’ve gained, there’s always more to see and explore.
Nick has been working as a photographer for Lanta Diver for over 4 years now and lives on Ko Lanta all year round. Nick has been fortunate enought to combine two of his favourite hobbies, diving, and photography! What Nick finds so fascinating about underwater photography is that every day is different, every diver and snorkeler are different and he is passionate about making sure he captures your special moment underwater. Every picture tells a story and Nick loves showing you the story of your fantastic day with Lanta Diver.
After leaving a corporate career in the UK in 2008 he began traveling around the world for two years before settling into life in South East Asia. He started off as an instructor, teaching people how to dive and educating them on a world that covers 70% if our planet, yet so few people get the privilge to explore.
Nick had a photography exhibition at the famed UK aquarium The Deep, in his home town of Hull for the prestigious City of Culture Festivities in 2017. Nicks’ hope is that by showcasing his work in venues like The Deep, he can show people the amazing and diverse species that may be wiped out in the oceans if people don’t change their attitude towards the environment.
Nick also offers underwater photography courses to suit all levels, ages, camera systems and experience. Courses are taught here at Lanta Diver where we provide top of the range facilities. We have AC classrooms to study in, a good swimming pool to practice and two big boats where we can put all the practice into action.
Fabrice – Professional Underwater Photographer
He rediscovered diving in 1999, in Thailand. His first experience underwater was in his teens in the cold water of Brittany in France. Since then there was no turning back. His passion for diving and the underwater world led him to become an instructor. Over the years he has introduced hundreds of people to the wonders of the sea.
Underwater photography was a main hobby from the beginning until it became a full time job here in Koh Lanta with Lanta Diver. Fabrice has lived on Koh Lanta for 10 years now. As an avid diver he has traveled and explored reefs in Indonesia (his favorite), Malaysia, Australia and Japan. Fabrice loves to share his passion for the underwater world and nature conservation, through teaching people how to dive and sharing his photos. Everyday on Lanta Diver boats you can bring home some unique memories of your dive day. Either Fabrice or Nick will offer you to purchase some high quality photos of you and the reef creatures you’ve seen while diving in Koh Lanta.
Lanta Diver Boat Crew
Our boat crew have been with us for many, many years. They have over 15 years of experience on the waters of the Andaman sea. They all share the history as well as their love of the ocean, and particularly the beautiful Andaman Ocean they are all keen for you to love and spend time in. Our boats are run by our Captains – Sin (Lanta Diver 1), Dech (JD) and Yea (Lanta Diver 2).
Charlie – The Shop dog
Charlie is Kristin and Raymond’s dog, adopted from Lanta Animal welfare in 2017. He is a three year old Thai breed and you can find him in the shop almost every day. His favorite spot in the shop is the sofa, stealing that space from the customers. If you ask him nicely he’ll move aside 🙂 Charlie is very friendly and calm and he loves cuddles!