About Paul Heinerth
Paul was born in the province of Quebec and moved to Florida in July 1967. He began diving in 1969 and got certified in 1971. Paul got into cave diving that same year and has been an explorer ever since.
With the dive store named Scuba West since 1977, he became an open water instructor and it has been his full time job ever since . He taught his first cave class two years later. Paul Heinerth is a PADI Master Instructor, a RAID Instructor Trainer, an IANTD Instructor Trainer, a cave Instructor Sponsor for the CDS and has been an active NACD cave diving instructor since 1979.
Several achievements, expeditions and discoveries led Paul to be renown in the scuba diving world. His first discovery was in 1973, a cave he explored and named Twin Dee’s. The little spring was finally connected to Weeki Wachee Springs in the fall of 2014 by KUR divers... so exploration is still going on today. In 1979, he found “Giant Cave” in Belize for which the Explorer Club sanctioned an expedition in 1982 with Sheck Exley as his co-leader. He also participated in both Wakulla projects (1987 and 1998) led by Dr. Bill Stone as an exploration diver and a surveyor. He helped Jim King’s Eagle’s Nest Project and the Red Snapper Sink mapping in the early 90’s. Paul got involved with rebreathers in 1993 and participated on several expeditions in Mexico to explore and map the Dos Ojos cave system. He discovered and mapped The Pit’s deep section in the late 90’s using rebreather technology. His latest diving deed is the 407 feet deep dive at Weeki Wachee Springs in July of 2007, a depth record that is now the second deepest water filled cave in the USA. On a grimmer note, Paul has volunteered on several occasions to do recovery work for missing cave divers.
Paul has received the Fellowship Award from the NSS, the Abe Davis award and 2 Outstanding Service Awards from the CDS. The NACD has honored him with the Silver, Bronze and Gold Wakulla awards. He also earned the Technical Canadian Diver of the Year award in 2002 along with the Explorers Club’s Best Exploration Film award for the ICE ISLAND film.
His degree in journalism/documentary production from the University of Florida (B.S. 1976) helped Paul participate in several documentary productions, including two featured in issues for the National Geographic magazine. Recently, he worked on several Hollywood productions.
Beside caves, Paul has interest in wreck diving. In 1990, he was part of an expedition on the Empress of Ireland and in 2003 he successfully dived the OCEANOS. The latest being a rewarding experience because it was the first and only expedition to penetrate and film this wreck lying in the Indian ocean’s tumultuous waters off South Africa’s wild coast.
Paul has presented numerous times over the years with both the NACD and the NSSCDS cave diving conferences in Florida as well as given talks in Canada, England, France, Australia and Mexico. He has written articles and chapters in cave diving books. He is featured in several articles and books.
He sold his dive store, Scuba West, in Hudson, Florida, after 29 years in business. Paul is staying very busy teaching all levels of scuba instructions. His current schedule seems to rotate between cave diving instructions, rebreather classes, expeditions and guiding. He resides in Hudson, Florida.
List of Expeditions: . 2013 Giant Cave (Belize)
. 2013 Submerged Fissures of Iceland (Iceland)
. 2012 Chassawitzka Swamp Expedition (Florida)
. 2011 Bermuda Deep Cave Expedition (Bermuda)
. 2007-09 Weeki Wachee Karst Project (Florida)
- 2005 Sawmills Sink Research with Advanced Diver Magazine (Bahamas)
- 2004 Emerald Springs Deep Project (Florida)
- 2003 The wreck of the “Oceanos” Expedition (South Africa)
- 2001 Antarctica Expedition (Ross Sea)
- 2000 The PIT Deep Expedition of Dos Ojos (Mexico)
- 1998 The Wakulla 2 Expedition (Florida)
- 1996 Jaciento Pat Expedition (Q.Roo, Mexico)
- 1995 Rio Tuerto/Huatla Expedition (Oxaca, Mexico)
- 1991/90 Eagle’s Nest Project (Florida)
- 1990 Empress of Ireland Wreck Diving Project (Quebec, Canada)
- 1989 Mante Expedition (Mexico)
- 1987 Original Wakulla Project (Florida)
- 1982 Giant Cave Expedition (Cay Caulker, Belize)
List of Documentaries and films:
. 2011- Ben’s Vortex, with Heinerth Production, an investigation video.
. 2007- Weeki Wachee Karst Project ( on going )
. 2005 - Sawmill Sink; a documentary in the Bahamas
. 2005- Pirates of The Caribbean 2&3 movies; Walt Disney Production
. 2004- “CAVE” movie; Lakeshore Production
. 2003- Oceanos Deep Quest; One Sun Production documentary
. 2002- Water’s Journey; Karst Production documentary
. 2002- Dreamchaser; an Episode for TV series
. 2001- Ice Island Expedition; a Karst Production documentary
. 1998- Wakulla 2; National Geographic documentary
. 1987- Wakulla Project; a Channel 4 (England) documentary
. 1979- “ Aging of America ”; PBS documentary