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John & Jane Bingeman outside Fort Hayes, Ascension Island, January 2002.

John Bingeman has been a professional diver since 1957, when he qualified with the Royal Navy. He remained with the Navy for 36 years, serving as an engineer officer. His service took him to Suez, Aden, Tanzania and Indonesia. He was involved in the Biafran war, and was attached to the Ghanaian Navy during the coup which ousted President Nkrumah.

Among the ships he served in were HMS Daring, HMS Centaur, HMS Intrepid and HMS Fearless; "Excellent diving platforms from which to develop valuable experience!" He trained at the Royal Naval Engineering College at Keyham, and was involved in the HMS Exmouth aero-gas turbine conversion. John was the President of the Royal Navy Sub-aqua Association from 1979 - 1984.

Jane has also seen the world, and served in Germany with the R.A.F. and Malaya with the Commonwealth Brigade where she helped run recreational clubs for the services. She also lived in the U.S.A. for a period, and has had poetry published in various anthologies.

John and Jane have enjoyed snorkelling and diving in many parts of the world. John's interest in Ascension Island started in 1979 when he spent six weeks as a member of the Joint Services Expedition studying the marine environment. In 1991 and 1992 he was invited back to supervise RAF recreational diving, and Jane accompanied him. Since 1999 they have returned annually, spending over a month on each visit, studying, identifying and photographing the fish. Having discovered available information was fragmented and often contradictory, they decided to collate their work into this guide.

Since their retirement, John and Jane have investigated and written extensively on maritime archaeology. John is currently the Government licensee for the "Invincible" (1758) historic wreck site. After 11 years of excavation, the representative collection of artefacts are displayed at Chatham Historic Dockyard. His reports and specialist papers have been published.


Last revised on the 1st of September 2002. For any comments or questions about the Society and its work, or this website, please e-mail us via this link in Ascension.