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John Chatterton (b. 1951) is one of the world’s most accomplished and well known wreck divers. Together with Richie Kohler, he was one of the co-hosts for the History Channel’s Deep Sea Detectives where they have completed work on 57 episodes of this successful series. He is also a consultant to the film and television industries and has worked with 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and CBS. Prior to his career in television, Chatterton spent twenty years working as a commercial diver in and around New York City, and was actually working in the water underneath the World Financial Center, across the street from the Tower #1, on the day of the September 11 attacks. His first co-host and diving partner from Deep Sea Detectives, Michael Norwood, died in a diving accident during an expedition to Palau in December 2003.
His passion has always been researching and diving the deep shipwrecks of the world. In 1991, the discovery and subsequent identification of the German submarine U-869, off the coast of New Jersey, has been the subject of several television documentaries including Hitler’s Lost Sub, a two hour special for the popular NOVA series on PBS. This same story is now the subject of a New York Times best selling book by Robert Kurson, called Shadow Divers. It is currently published in 21 languages. The movie rights to the international bestseller have been purchased by 20th Century Fox.
Chatterton was a member of the first technical diving expedition to Ireland and the legendary RMS Lusitania, in 1994. A few years later, at a depth of 400 feet (120 m), he was the first diver to use rebreather diving technology on the wreck of HMHS Britannic, near the island of Kea in Greece. In 2006, Chatterton re-visited the wreck of Britannic in the History Channel documentary Titanic's Tragic Sister, to try to find out what sank the third Olympic-class ocean liner. He was also the sole American on a British expedition, sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, seeking the historic shipwreck MV Struma in the Black Sea off Istanbul. These dives in Turkey were chronicled on the HBO documentary Struma. In addition, Chatterton has managed to make over 160 dives to the well known wreck of the SS Andrea Doria, sometimes referred to as the "Mount Everest" of recreational Scuba diving.
In August 2005, Chatterton and his partners put together an expedition to the most famous shipwreck in the world, RMS Titanic. They dove the wreck to a depth of approximately 12,500 feet (3,800 m) in the MIR submersible from the Russian research ship Akademik Mstislav Keldysh. Their exploration was featured on was featured on the History Channel special, Titanic’s Final Moments – Missing Pieces. This award-winning project was a first for Chatterton and his long time dive partner Richie Kohler in that they worked both in front of, and behind the camera. They produced the program with their close friend, Emmy Award winner Kirk Wolfinger. More specials are in the works.
John Chatterton is currently exploring the waters of the of the Caribbean and southern Atlantic on a 110 feet (34 m) survey vessel in search of the oldest shipwreck in the western hemisphere with his partner John Mattera they own Underwater Archeology & Exploration Corp.
In November 2000 John Chatterton was diagnosed with metastasized squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil, which was thought to be likely a result of his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam. By May 2003, the cancer was in remission.