Captain Brad Butler is a founding member of CoolDudesDiving.com. He works for Aquatic Safaris in Wilmington, NC as a dive instructor, boat crew, and shop monkey. On the side, Brad sponsors a middle school Scuba Club at Cary Academy in Cary, NC. He also manages our web site, so send your complaints to him!
Brad's adventure in diving started at age eleven, when on vacation in the Virgin Islands with his parents. He fell in love with the sport and kept at it. By age sixteen he was certified as a Rescue Diver and a Master Scuba Diver.
At eighteen Brad got his first gig on a dive boat, working for Captain Charlie on the Dive Buddy in Wrightsville Beach, NC. Here he learned how to wrestle with anchors and hang out with sharks, both prerequisites for working on a North Carolina dive boat. The Dive Buddy is no longer a dive boat, but memories persist. Ask Brad about his first day on the job and he'll recount that fateful morning.
While attending NC State University and studying Mechanical Engineering, Brad helped to found the first of two NCSU Scuba clubs and volunteered for the NCSU Scuba program. He helped train divers at all levels and developed diving knowledge and leadership skills that would stay with him through his career in this odd and entertaining industry.
Brad spent three years working for Broadreach Summer Adventures, both at the home office in Raleigh and on programs in the Caribbean. There he became a PADI Instructor, earned his USCG Captain's license, and studied the process of "Caribbean Engineering," which consists of building, repairing, or maintaining complex systems with little more than duct tape, WD-40, a cold beer, and a solid hammer.
Since those days, Brad has upgraded his USCG license to the big-boy version (50GT/NC Master with Sailing endorsement), become a PADI Master Instructor, a DAN instructor, and a certified technical diver. He helped found the Cary Academy Scuba Club in 2009, and thoroughly enjoys training teenagers to dive.
He is beginning his fifth year with Aquatic Safaris and has loved every minute of it. He gets to dive some of the greatest dive sites in the world on a regular basis, teach new divers to appreciate what they have at home, and interact with divers of all levels on the dive boats and in the store.
Brad is a PADI Course Director and USCG Licensed Captain. A founding member of CoolDudesDiving, he currently works for Aquatic Safaris in Wilmington, NC. He writes for us in his spare time.