Marine Scientist and Deep Water Search and Rescue Expert, Blue Water Recoveries
David L. Mearns OAM, MSc, is a chartered marine scientist, historical researcher, author, and expedition leader of deep ocean projects. He is one of the world’s most experienced and successful deep-sea shipwreck hunters, having located 24 major shipwrecks with an overall success rate of 89%. His formidable reputation has been built on a career finding notoriously difficult wrecks that others predicted would never be found or their mysteries solved. David’s most important discoveries include MV Lucona, MV Derbyshire, HMS Hood, the Portuguese East Indiaman Esmeralda, HMAS Sydney, HSK Kormoran, AHS Centaur, and Rio Grande, the Guinness World Record for the deepest shipwreck ever found at 5,762 metres. David was also a key member of Paul Allen’s team that located and filmed the iconic Japanese battleship Musashi in 2015, based on the research and search area analysis he conducted.
In 2010 David was awarded an honorary Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for service to Australia for locating the wrecks of HMAS Sydney and AHS Centaur. In addition to his honorary OAM, David has been awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of South Florida, a prestigious Maritime Fellowship by the UK-based Maritime Foundation for an outstanding lifetime contribution, the 2015 Sir Robert Craven Award from the Britannia Naval Research Association, and a Seatrade Award for a highly commended contribution to Safety at Sea in relation to finding the wreck of the Derbyshire.
David has worked in all the world’s oceans, and has travelled to more than 50 countries. He is a long-standing fellow of the Explorer’s Club and the Royal Geographical Society.