Michael Bolton


  • NATIONALITY: United States
  • RESIDENCE: Panama

Biography

Mike started diving in 1960 at the age of 17. He grew up watching episodes of Mike Nelson’s Sea Hunt, a show that inspired the dream in him to pursue diving. While in the US Air Force, he was transferred to Panama where the opportunity to pursue diving came to light and he jumped on it immediately! He became one of the first Scuba Instructors certified by the YMCA in Panama, where he still lives to this day with his wife Becky who accompanies him on almost all shark expeditions.

Spearfishing became his passion in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  He represented Panama in spearfishing competitions where top competitors from North America, South America and Europe participated.

Mike has been involved in underwater research and the recovery of shipwrecks, salvaging the Spanish Galleon Nuestra Señora de la Maravillas that was lost off the Bahamas in 1656. He is currently involved in recovering the Spanish Galleon San Jose lost off Pacific Panama waters in 1631.

He always had a passion for underwater photography and video which led him to contract shoots for ABC’s Wild World of Sports, filming underwater action shots of pelagic large game fish. He has collaborated with the Smithsonian Institute in the study of sea snakes and squid and the reality TV show Survivor. His most recent was cinema footage in the new documentary Saving Jaws.

Cinema shooting and documenting sharks is his passion and has been leading several shark trips each season for the past twelve years to Guadalupe Island, the home of the Great White, taking small groups of divers that want to learn about and dive with this majestic animal.

Over the years, Mike has had the privilege of diving, working and learning from some of the best in the diving world: Ocean Ramsey, Juan Oliphant (ABC), Andy Casagrande, Michael Dornellas (Discovery Shark Week), Rob Stewart (Sharkwater), Forrest Galante (Animal Planet), the late Philippe Cousteau Sr. and Bob Cranston (IMAX Cinematographer).

His mission is to always strive to learn more, stay humble and pass on his experiences and knowledge about sharks and ocean conservation to others, contributing to shark awareness and conservation through cinema and photography. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words!

His dive equipment has always been essential for a safe, comfortable and rewarding dive. Over the past 60 years he has used many brands, but his preferred choice is Mares on every dive.

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