Emperor Divers - The Liveaboard Team
As a boy growing up in Cairo, I was always fascinated by the boats cruising up and down the Nile. I trained as an accountant and, whilst working for a travel agent, was given the chance to move to Sharm El Sheikh in 2002, which is where I first saw the Red Sea. As well as the intense colours of the sea, I was fascinated by the wooden boats taking divers out every day.
I joined Emperor soon after, and as the accountant in charge of dry docks, I learnt a lot more about boats from a technical and aesthetic point of view. I quickly learned to dive and undertook the operation of running our range of liveaboard trips. Being named Fleet Manager in 2013 was a very proud moment indeed for me.
My duties include looking after the construction, maintenance and operation of Emperor's fleet of safari and daily boats. As a football fan, and if I'm not buying a new gadget or working with the onboard chefs with their menu ideas, you can find me in one of the local coffee shops cheering on Ahly and Barcelona. A keen traveller, I am also a PADI Rescue Diver and my favourite dive was on Daedalus Reef, where I was lucky enough to see schooling hammerheads and a manta ray on the same dive.
I was born in Switzerland, grew up in Colombia and have lived in Egypt for 16 years so the question of where I am from is rather a difficult one but mostly and proudly Egyptian I would say.
Even though I am an instructor, I think of myself as a dive guide as there is no job I would rather do than being underwater sharing the wonders of the marine world with fellow diving enthusiasts. I hope to be a dive guide for as long as I can carry my tank, especially as a diving nomad living on a liveaboard.
I started working in diving in 1997 in the Red Sea. One dive at Ras Um Sid was all it took to give up my academic career as an anthropologist and dedicate my life to being a dive guide instead; the anthias and soft corals of the Red Sea conquered my heart irrevocably. My first full time liveaboard job was with Emperor Divers on Pegasus in 1998, so Emperor and I go back a long way.
Love and other circumstances made me wander a bit even as far as the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Sudan and Djibouti but the Egyptian people, with their hearts of gold and unconditional friendship, my dear Emperor family, the Egyptian Red Sea with its incredible visibility and light quality and the most beautiful scalefin anthias in the whole wide oceans, have brought me back home to Egypt again and again - and back to Emperor since spring of 2009. I am, through and through, a Red Sea Emperor girl, wearing my Emperor blue uniform even when off on vacation...no kidding...I have witnesses!
Sergio Sarachaga Belenguer
My passion for the sea started early in my childhood. I used to go snorkelling with my father with no more equipment than some old diving masks (Cousteau style) and not even fins. I needed more than this and took my SSI Open water in 2005.
After seven years as a diver and a varied professional profile in a lot of different areas, in 2012 I decided to become a diving instructor with a small dive centre in Spain. Again I longed for more adventure and in 2013 started my international journey with my partner, Ana, in Thailand. After Thailand came Mexico and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean and now we are immersed in our adventure in the Red Sea, thanks to Emperor Divers.
Our job here is the dream of many divers; as dive guides on one the biggest liveaboard companies our main duty is to DIVE! Of course, looking after our guests is all a part of that and we always aim to give the best diving experience.
Over the years I kept adding to my qualifications and I'm now a PADI and SSI Instructor able to teach several specialties such as Deep Diving, Nitrox, Perfect Buoyancy, Stress & Rescue, Night and Limited Visibility diving, O2 First Aid + First Aids and CPR ,Wreck diving, Project AWARE, AWARE Coral Reef Conservation and Care for Children & Sidemount. I'm also a Trimix gas blender and full cave diver. So when you dive with me on an Emperor liveaboard you're getting quite a colourful tapestry of skills and, importantly, a big friendly welcome.
My relationship with the ocean was always about the feeling of freedom and calm. When I met Sergio and he introduced me to this fantastic world I couldn't stop my love for this amazing sport. For me, diving means freedom and being able to do everything without any help. Outside of the water I always feel more limited but underwater I feel I can fly!
I did my OWD, AOWD and Rescue in Spain and then Sergio and I decided to travel and visit as many places as we can so I did my DMT in Thailand. Becoming a professional was something I didn't expect but I loved it so I continued with my PADI Instructor course in Mexico, then Dominican Republic where I added some instructor specialties to my background and finally here in the Red Sea, which is the dream job! Diving, diving and more diving in one of the most amazing places in the world with some of the best guests in the world!
Emperor Divers is not just a company, it's a diving family where everybody tries to share with the guests our big love for the Blue; it's a passion for what we do and every week we try to offer our best to our guests whom came to dive with us.
Being born and raised in Alexandria, my love for the sea and its beauty above and under water was given to me at birth and drove me to learn to dive at age seventeen. I finished my Dive Master one year later and have been working in the Red Sea for more than ten years now, mainly in the Hurghada area, Marsa Alam and Hamata as well as in Alexandria with maritime archaeology.
For the last four years I have been an enthusiastic liveaboard dive guide, loving to be under water amongst the magnificent fish and coral of the Red Sea, as much as sharing my affection for the sea with fellow fans of the marine environment. There's nothing like that feeling of sharing years of experience and knowledge with divers who just drink it up and equally love to learn what lies in our teeming waters.
Parallel to my diving career, I also pursued university studies in dentistry, which I switched to a more sea-oriented subject, Maritime Studies, as boating is another of my passions. I have now reached the degree of Second Mate.
Mohammed El Khatib (Momo)
Born and brought up in Cairo, I have fifteen years' experience of diving the Red Sea and all its glories. My diving career began with Emperor Divers where, under the tutelage of Emperor instructors, I moved through the diving ranks to reach my current level of PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. During my extensive career I have worked with several dive operators but chose to return to Emperor as I felt most at home and part of a family.
Many years ago I decided to change my career from working in hotel management to scuba diving just to live close to nature and enjoy this peaceful world underwater. Even when I go on holiday I head for camping in the mountains or desert safaris. I'm a relaxed person and like to help others to share this feeling and get the most from their holiday and their diving.
Exploring, adventure, the beauty of nature and feeling of freedom is what inspires me. And I feel very privileged that I can spend my days sharing all this Red Sea beauty whilst diving with others.
I never intended to be a diver but stumbled upon it, as life gave me the chance. Back in the late nineties I went on a dream holiday to Egypt. From the first moment I felt at home and we did one of those great trips on the Nile. Saw all the great Egyptian treasures before we went for some relaxation to the Red Sea. We couldn't resist a snorkelling trip and that's when I fell in love with the Red Sea and all its amazing marine life. After we returned home, a friend, who was a Divemaster, suggested an introduction dive. I would never have expected to enjoy diving so much but started to learn and to explore. Before I knew it I became an instructor trainer and got the chance to share my passion with others.
Even though I loved diving from the get go, I always enjoyed the cold Dutch waters to dive and to teach. But whenever I could I went on a diving holiday and one of my favourites was with Emperor Divers here in the Red Sea. So when I got a chance to change my career, from marketing & design to diving, I was very happy to join the Emperor family on their safari boats.
So now I spend my days with our amazing crew. Together we are family and we would like to welcome you to our home; to explore our beautiful dive sites and have a chance of meeting some of world's best marine life. And if you would like to expand your knowledge and skills as a diver, I can offer you a variety of PADI and SSI courses. What about Advanced Open Water or a deep, wreck, night, drift or Nitrox specialty? Here's to us meeting here in the Red Sea.