Joe Laposta (SDI/TDI IT and PADI MSDT)

Joe Laposta is the “Joe” in Joe’s Scuba.

Joe’s passion for scuba diving began after taking his initial scuba course in 2008. He was immediately hooked and spend every spare moment working on the boat, diving in his backyard lake or volunteering at the South Carolina Aquarium.

In 2017, Joe became a PADI Master Scuba Diving Trainer, Handicap Scuba Instructor, and Tank/Equipment service technician. This was the first major step in eventually starting Joe’s Scuba. In 2021, Joe crossed over to become an SDI Open Water Scuba Instructor and Joe’s Scuba was officially born.

Joe loves to travel for scuba diving and has dove all over the world. Some of his favorite dive locations are Belize, Bonaire, Indonesia, and Timor-Leste. Another of Joe’s favorite types of dives are blackwater dives in the Cooper River. It is quite satisfying to come back from a dive with a megalodon tooth souvenir!

James Comfort (SDI OWSDI)

James Comfort brings a ton of experience to the table! James started diving with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office Underwater Recovery Team in 2016, learning to conduct underwater crime scene investigations to recover victims, weapons, vehicles, or other evidence, and frequently conducting searches for underwater explosive devices with other state and federal agencies.

James is currently certified as a Trimix Diver / Closed Circuit Rebreather diver and his favorite dives are deep wrecks, but does frequently conduct blackwater diving for fossils locally in the Cooper River, or spearfishing offshore Charleston.  He is looking forward to instructing more students as one of our newest instructors!

Micah Leigh (SDI OWSDI and PADI OWSI)

Micah Leigh is a brand new PADI and SDI scuba instructor. Micah started diving in 2020 and just couldn’t stop! Micah’s open water class with Joe was actually halfway through when the world shut down for the pandemic. He didn’t give up, and he finished a few months later.

Micah rapidly progressed through his diving certifications and got to spend almost a month in Florida completing his Divemaster and Open Water Scuba Instructor certifications in early 2022.

He is super excited to share his passion for diving with new students and continue to grow in his scuba experiences!

Mark Weninger (SDI OWSDI and PADI OWSI)

Mark Weninger’s diving career started late in life. Looking to fulfill his dreams as a professional, he started interning, divemastering, and working as a deck hand on a charter boat. He has travelled for diving to such places as Bora Bora, Honduras, Barbados, Grenada, and Cozumel.

Mark realized teaching and helping others learn was what he loved most. It was time to step up as an instructor. Mark earned both his PADI and SDI instructor ratings. He is also a volunteer diver at South Carolina Aquarium.

Mark loves the smiles from his students when they take their first plunge into his underwater classroom!

Why does Mark dive? Simple. It’s fun!

Melannie Bachman (SDI OWSDI and PFI FI)

Melannie Bachman is a published marine scientist by training, and has been fortunate to have experienced our underwater world from both scientific and recreational standpoints around the globe. After working in remote areas of Indonesia studying coral reefs and marine mammals, she began her journey as a dive instructor. She felt she could make a bigger impact with preserving our marine ecosystem by improving connections between people and the environment through diving. She is both a Scuba diving and Freediving instructor with numerous teaching specialties as well as a certified Yoga Instructor.

As a breast cancer survivor, she aims to create an alternative healing program for other survivors integrating the wonderful benefits of diving and yoga. Mel has instructed through PADI & SSI, and is excited to now teach for PFI and SDI.

Kim Gissendanner (SDI OWSDI)

Kim Gissendanner has been diving for many decades. He has taught commercial diving for a large part of his dive career and now works for a commercial dive company for his day job.

Kim loves underwater photography and tries to take pictures as often as he gets the chance. He doesn’t teach too many local classes, but if you’d like to head down to the Florida springs or offshore dives in Florida, he is your guy!

Spike Schillo (SDI AI)

Spike is an ADCI licensed commercial diver and an SDI Assistant Instructor with a wide variety of experience working and exploring underwater. Spike enjoys sharing his passion for scuba with students and introducing newcomers to the wonders of the underwater world. When not at Joe’s you can find him diving at SC Aquarium or spending time with his wife, JB, and daughter, Dutch.

Bryan Butler (SDI DM)

Bryan spent 20 years in the US Army traveling all over the world. He then began his passion for diving during the summer of 2022 and as of the summer of 2023 is already a Divemaster!

Some of Bryan’s favorite types of diving are drift dives, deep wreck dives, and blackwater diving. Bryan is very safety conscious and really enjoys making you feel comfortable in the water.

If you are just starting out in your scuba journey, there is a good chance he will be helping in your class!

John Baker (SDI/TDI IT)

John fell in love with diving in high school. During college he worked as a divemaster for several shops and spent a serious amount of time underwater. After graduation, he earned his dive instructor certification.

Besides teaching scuba, John’s passion is exploration and technical diving. John has dived to 300+ft on some of his adventures, dived the Andrea Doria, the U869, dives rebreathers, and has salvaged everything from airplanes to cars.

John has taught 1000’s of dive courses ranging from open water to technical trimix diving. He is also an instructor trainer, technical diving instructor trainer, and a course director trainer. John can help you achieve your goal of becoming a diver, dive instructor, and even a course director! He also owns Scuba John’s Dive Shop in Lexington, SC but will come down here to teach with us those advanced technical classes.