Terry Dwyer was born in the coastal community of New Waterford, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. He learned to scuba dive in 1978 at the age of fifteen. Clearing propellers of rope and nets for local fishermen enabled him to start his first dive company at age sixteen. He spent five years working for a treasure hunting company and then spent the next thirty years of his life working in the Canadian scuba diving industry. In 1992 he received a Rescue Commendation for an Act of Personal Bravery. In 1994 he founded the Nova Scotia Scuba Association.
In 1995 his diving company Deep Star was selected by Lightstorm Entertainment (James Cameron) to provide the Diving Support Services for the motion picture Titanic, parts of which were filmed in Nova Scotia. While working on the Titanic project I conceived the idea to form Movie Marine Canada, to provide diving support services to the film industry. After the Titanic project we went on to supply the diving support services for many major motion pictures such as: K-19 The Widow Maker, The Shipping News, Deeply, and The Weight of Water, parts of which were filmed here in Nova Scotia. We also supplied the diving support services for the TV movies Shattered City: The Halifax Explosion, Blessed Stranger: The Aftermath of Swiss Air Flight 111 and for the Discovery Channel TV series High Seas Rescue and Oceans of Mystery. For eight years we worked on various movie sets as safety divers for some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including: Harrison Ford, Liam Neeson, Elizabeth Hurley, Sean Penn, Kirstin Dunst, Sara Polley, and Kevin Spacey, whom we trained to scuba dive in preparation for his water scenes in The Shipping News.
In 1997, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the principals of the sport of scuba diving in Nova Scotia, he was awarded The Sports Network (TSN) Spirit of the Sport Award. He has authored and published numerous articles on scuba tourism, shipwrecks and shipwreck diving in Nova Scotia, and he is one of the foremost authorities on St. Paul Island. He is also a professional underwater videographer and photographer. In August 2000 he and Mark Stanton of Divers Down Television co-produced the Nova Scotia Tourism video, Dive Nova Scotia. In October 2005 he was elected as a “Fellow International” member to the prestigious Explorers Club. The Explorers club was founded in 1904 by a group of the world’s leading explorers. The Explorers Club is a multidisciplinary not-forprofit professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research, scientific exploration and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. His first book Wreck Hunter: The Quest For Lost Shipwrecks, published in 2004, was reprinted in 2008, with over 3000 copies sold.
Terry has also served as an occupational diving operations and diving equipment consultant for the RCMP, various police forces, fire departments, and many other federal and provincial organizations and agencies. He has been working in the recreational, commercial and scientific diving industry for the past thirty years. On August 6, 2010, an eight-seat Cessna 414 disappeared while attempting to touch down in heavy rain and thick fog at Sydney Airport. The RCMP contracted Terry’s company, Wreck Hunter Inc., to search for and locate the lost airplane. Operating from the RCMP Coastal Patrol Vessel Preventer, Wreck Hunter deployed their side scan sonar system and searched a five kilometre square area before locating the Cessna 414 airplane in 55 metres of water, 11 kilometres off Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. Despite strong currents of 2 knots, underwater video survey and recovery operations were successfully completed using their ROV system. In 2015, Wreck Hunter Inc. was contracted to provide side scan sonar operator training to members of the Nova Scotia RCMP Underwater Recovery Team in Halifax.
Terry has been working in the recreational, commercial and scientific diving industry for the past 38 years. Today he operates a shipwreck exploration and search equipment consulting service. More recently, he started Shipwreck School to teach people how to find shipwrecks and he offers a variety of side scan sonar equipment training courses and a selection of various shipwreck related presentations / seminars.