Meet Ocean Tribe Owner & PADI Course Director Mark Slingo
From watching James Bond movies and the classic Flipper episodes as a kid, Mark was obsessed with the underwater world. Originally from Great Britain after years of snorkelling and free diving on holiday, he finally earned his Open Water Diver scuba certification on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, travelling around the world on his GAP year.
Mark continued to dive on holidays and after completing a bachelors degree at Newcastle University, Mark travelled to Thailand to become a Divemaster. Enjoying himself so much working on dive boats, he elected to stay and become a diving instructor.
Just a few weeks after Mark became an instructor, tragedy struck. A fall from a third floor left Mark paralysed from the waist down. He was hospitalised for four months in the spinal unit in the UK. But he considers that the thought of being able to scuba dive kept him going. And true enough just three weeks following Mark’s discharge from the spinal unit, he was invited back to teach in his former job in Thailand by his mentors top PADI Course Directors, the late Stephen Blumenthal and Russell Martin, and tech diving legend, the late Stephen Burton.
Delighted that he could still teach as a normal dive instructor, and wanting to pass on that gift to other divers, Mark specialised in working with divers with disabilities. At the same time he worked as part of a busy dive centre team, earning higher instructor certifications until in March 2008 he attained the highest PADI Instructor rating possible for anyone. PADI Course Director. He is at the time of writing the first and only wheelchair user to ever attain this rating.
After becoming a PADI Course Director Mark worked in Egypt, and Phuket & Bangkok, Thailand before setting in Kenya teaching diving courses. The culmination of Mark’s experience and hard work was rewarded when Mark finally opened his own dive centre Ocean Tribe in 2015. He strives to maintain the highest possible standards of diving instruction and dive trips at Ocean Tribe and introduce people to the wonders of Kenya’s superb diving.
In addition to his work for Ocean Tribe, Mark is the former Director of Training and Marketing for Disabled Divers International, one the world’s leading disabled diver training organisation. He travels around the world teaching Divemasters and Instructors to work with disabled divers and instructor trainers how to teach the instructor courses for pros who wish to work with handicapped people. He was directly involved with the launch of the PADI Adaptive Diver Specialty Instructor program in Asia-Pacific, Africa and the USA in 2018.
In 2017 Mark received the prestigious Platinum Pro 5000 award. This is an award that only a select few of the most elite and prominent divers (including Jacques Cousteau) in the WORLD have been privileged enough to attain.
Mark is a superb choice to come to complete your dive professional training or simply do a dive course with. He loves just going for a dive too so often you will find he’s the one fighting to the front of the queue to lead divers.
Away From Diving
Mark is a massive sports fan following his various rugby, football, and cricket teams as well as being a fanatical traveller and photographer when he gets the chance. Kenya gives him more than his fair share of opportunities to pursue all his interests without even having to leave the country, which is another reason (aside from the great diving) why he chose to be here.