Popular Truk Lagoon Captain and Dive Guide Dies Suddenly in the Marshall Islands

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Captain Martin Cridge was one of the most knowledgeable and enthusiastic of Truk Lagoon's dive guides (Photo: Steve Jones)

The scuba diving world is mourning the sudden loss of Martin Cridge, one of Truk Lagoon's most popular dive guides and captains. 52-year old Cridge, captain of the Truk Master liveaboard died suddenly on Friday, 18 June while in the Marshall Islands.

The news was released through a statement on the Master Liveaboards website. 

It’s with a heavy heart and much sadness that we have to inform everyone that one of the largest characters in Truk Lagoon, and the wreck and tech diving community as a whole, is no longer with us. Martin Cridge, Captain of Truk Master and stalwart of Dirty Dozen Expeditions passed away suddenly on Friday 18th June while in the Marshall Islands. His passing is incredibly unexpected and shocking to everyone who knew him and worked with him.

There are very few people that knew more, or were more passionate about the wrecks and the diving in Chuuk and Bikini. Anyone who dived with him will have felt his infectious enthusiasm. Everyone who dealt directly with him at Master Liveaboards and The Dirty Dozen felt it too. Martin was absolutely pivotal in us developing Bikini Atoll as a destination for Master Liveaboards as well as building the reputation of Truk Master as a highly respected technical diving operation. Not only this but he was instrumental in the set-up and success of The Dirty Dozen Expeditions in Truk and Bikini.

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Cridge would meticulously return items taken from the wrecks by divers (Photo: Steve Jones)

There are very few people that knew more, or were more passionate about the wrecks and the diving in Chuuk and Bikini. Anyone who dived with him will have felt his infectious enthusiasm. Everyone who dealt directly with him at Master Liveaboards and The Dirty Dozen felt it too. Martin was absolutely pivotal in us developing Bikini Atoll as a destination for Master Liveaboards as well as building the reputation of Truk Master as a highly respected technical diving operation. Not only this but he was instrumental in the set up and success of The Dirty Dozen Expeditions in Truk and Bikini.

The diving world as a whole has lost a celebrated captain, cruise director, technical guru, passionate wreck historian, chamber operator, and just as importantly, possibly the only Huddersfield Town AFC fan in Micronesia. Master Liveaboards and The Dirty Dozen have lost one of their own family and his passing will leave a huge hole in their lives.

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Martin Cridge on the wreck of the Shinkoku Maru (Photo: Steve Jones)

Martin was the subject of a fascinating interview in DIVE's Spring 2021 print magazine, providing his services as dive guide and model for Steve Jones's feature and photography, where his enthusiasm and passion for the wrecks of Truk Lagoon shone through.

He originally learned to dive in the Royal Navy, which he joined after leaving school, after which he ran his own dive centre and liveaboard in the north of England. With an interest in the scientific side of diving, he spent more than 15 years as a hyperbaric chamber supervisor and operator before leaving to pursue his career as a liveaboard captain and dive guide in Micronesia. Cridge spent nearly eight years working in Truk Lagoon, becoming one of its most knowledgable and popular guides, and also spent time in the Marshall Islands, particularly the technical diving of Bikini Atoll.

Cridge leaves behind his wife, Elaine, and young son Tyke. A Go Fund Me page has been created to support his family and assist in his repatriation to Micronesia. Donations will be welcomed at www.gofundme.com/f/martin-cridge-memorial-fundraiser.

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Martin Cridge (Photo: Steve Jones)

 

 

 

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