The dive community is in shock to hear of the untimely passing of PADI Platinum Course Director and technical instructor trainer Andy Phillips. Phillips was an extremely experienced diver who went missing during a dive in the St. Lawrence river near Cornwall in Ontario, Canada on June 11.
Ontario Provincial Police reported a call on the morning of the 11th about a diving accident, wherein two divers entered the water at Lock 21, a submerged lock system on Macdonnell Island in South Stormont Township, but only one surfaced.
Although multiple agencies conducted a multi-day search-and-rescue mission, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, South Stormont and Cornwall Fire Services, US Customs and Border Protection, and a helicopter from CFB Trenton, the search was called off as of June 17th.
Andy Phillips was a figure in the pro-diving scene for over 20 years, first certifying in Greece in 1990. He was most well known as a Platinum PADI Course Director and the gregarious manager of the Utila Dive Center. He was also a frequent contributor to Scuba Diver Life, publishing an article just the day before news broke of the accident.
“Andy and I attended the 2001 Course Director Training Camp together,” said his close friend, frequent dive buddy and fellow Course Director Luke Inman. “We were the only two British CD candidates and two of the youngest attendees.” He posted this tribute on Facebook to Andy upon learning of the accident:
“I keep trying to write something, but I am lost for words and shattered. Unable to find the words that are appropriate. They say in life the most important legacy is that “Someone misses you”. Andy Phillips
You will be missed my friend….deeply missed.
I will cherish the laughs, the beer, the jokes, the humility, the simple dives, the sophisticated dives.
You will forever be the person that discovered and named Neptunes Throne at Isla Espiritu Santo. Neptune’s Throne starts in 55 m and drops down, way down to as far as we could safely dive it to 105m. Today Afelandra Glez Cibrián and I decided to name the 55 m pinnacle of this site “Andy’s Pinnacle.” One of the many pinnacles of your achievements in diving.
Our friendship and journey started in 2001 and it will continue in my thoughts, my heart and my love. Never lose a moment to tell those you love, respect and admire. How much you really love, respect and admire them. Love you and miss you my friend.
Rest easy, Andy. You will be missed by all who knew you.