John Chatterton

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John Chatterton
John Chatterton arguably became the most famous wreck diver in the world as a result of Robert Kurson's best selling book: Shadow Divers.  The story is the stuff of wreck diver's dreams - an unknown World war II German submarine is discovered off the New Jersey coast (later identified as U-869), and Chatterton and his friends take huge risks to discover the identity of a submarine that according to official records should not exist, a quest that would take years to complete, and would take the lives of several excellent divers in the process.

Although Shadow Divers brought John Chatterton's name to the wider world, he was well known in the diving community before then.  A veteran of over 160 dives on the SS Andrea Doria, as well as one of the few wreck divers to truly 'strike gold' when he recovered the safe of the SS Carolina, Chatterton was already well known in the Northeast United States wreck diving community. 

His journey to celebrity started when he starred in the television series Deep Sea Detectives alongside various co-hosts, including Richie Kohler, who also featured heavily in the Shadow Divers saga.  John has also appeared in NOVA documentaries relating to U-869 and Japanese mini-subs in Pearl Harbour.

Chatterton and Kohler mounted an expedition to the RMS Titanic in 2005 aboard the Russian research ship Keldysh, followed by an expedition to the HMHS Britannic in 2006. Those expeditions were conducted for 3 specials on the History Channel, which Chatterton and Kohler co-produced with Kirk Wolfinger, and which won a Cine award.  The Titanic expedition was also the subject of a book by Brad Matsen, entitled Titanic’s Last Secrets.

Arguably more than any other diver since Jacques Cousteau's time, John Chatterton has become a diving celebrity, and has played a major part in bringing the sport of technical diving into the mainstream.