After more than a week, renowned dive instructor trainer Thomas “Andy” Phillips, who has been identified as the missing diver who didn’t resurface from St.Lawrence River on June 11 near Lock 21 (a submerged lock system) on MacDonell Island in South Stormont Township in Ontario, Canada, is still missing. Phillips, 46, was out diving with a companion but his diving partner was the only one who surfaced just before 9am from the river. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) was notified and a search and rescue mission was conducted by several agencies such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, South Stormont and Cornwall Fire Services, US Customs and Border Protection and a helicopter from Canadian Forces Base Trenton. Despite the search being called off by multiple agencies on June 17, the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry OPP are continuing the search for Phillips.
A PADI Platinum Course Director and technical instructor trainer, Phillips had been in professional diving for more than two decades. His partner and him were reported to have been using closed-circuit rebreathers but this has information has not been confirmed.
Phillips was first certified as a diver during a holiday in Greece. After a short spell in insurance following his graduation from university, Phillips decided to pursue a career in diving by heading to Koh Tao in Thailand to become a PADI Divemaster.
Phillips’ grew his legend at Utila, Honduras. Besides going through his Instructor Development Course at Utila in 1998, Phillips managed the Utila Dive Centre in 2000 and became a PADI Course Director, obtaining the Platinum Level in 2005. He went on to become one of the youngest PADI Tec Rec Instructor Trainers in the world at age 28 and he trained many PADI Instructors and technical divers at Utila.
After getting his instructor badges, Phillips had short stints at Costa Rica and Dahab, Eqypt in 1999, where he developed and deepened his knowledge of deep technical diving before returning to Utila Dive Centre in Honduras in 2000.
Luke Inman, a fellow Course Director of Phillips’ at Utila Dive Centre, has named the top of Neptune’s Throne at Isla Espiritu Santo in Mexico (discovered and named by Andy) as Andy’s Pinnacle in honour of him.