LinkedInNeil Cunningham Dobson

Neil Cunningham Dobson

Marine Archaeologist and Explorer

Kirkcaldy, United Kingdom
  1. Rovarch,
  2. Odyssey Marine Exploration
  1. Scottish institute of Maritime Studies
  1. University of St. Andrews
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– Present

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A highly multi-skilled, qualified and enquiring individual with over 30 years in the marine and offshore oil industry. This stems from my in-depth knowledge and experience in the marine and offshore oil industry, along with my academic background. I am an excellent communicator with an outgoing personality and the ability to relate equally well to industry, media, university, college and student. An experienced international marine archaeologist and pioneering deep-water marine archaeologist with particular skills in the planning and implementation of underwater archaeological investigations, watching briefs and desk-based assessments. A highly experienced marine safety and survival training consultant, a professional seaman a trainee Side-Scan Technician and ROV Pilot.

Director of my own consultancy company Rovarch I have been involed in many high profile projects and in 2008 I was one of the main stars of a Discovery Channel 12 part reality show called Treasure Quest. I have done many press and media interviews and I am always on the look out for future TV and media work..

Projects include:
SS Gairsoppa, initial survey
SS Mantola, initial survey.
HMS Victory. English Channel. Initial survey and cannon recovery.
Black Swan Shipwreck. Archaeological investigation and coin recovery.
Washington State, Manned-submersible investigations of shipwrecks.
Atlas Project, Western Approaches to the English Channel.
Eastern Mediterranean, Investigation of various shipwreck sites.
Western Mediterranean, Investigation of various shipwreck sites.
HMS Sussex Project, Straits of Gibraltar.
SS Republic Project, Gulf Stream off Savannah, USA.
Duart Point Shipwreck, Isle of Mull, Scotland.
HMS Exmouth WWII warship, Moray Firth Scotland.
Struma Jewish refugee ship, Black Sea.

Specialties:Deep-water shipwreck investigations and excavations.

Guest lecturing, TV and media interviews and reality shows. Good in front of a camera.

Offshore marine safety and survival instructor/examiner specialising in lesson plans and course planning. Also 23 years as a leader and member of a HM Coastguard Rescue Team.

HSE Part III Commercial Diver and sport diving instructor.

Ballast Control Room Operator/Barge Engineer on semi-submersible and jack-up installations



– Present (11 years 8 months)

Director of my own consultancy company.

Principal Marine Archaeologist

Odyssey Marine Exploration
– Present (13 years 8 months)

Marine archaeologist, Project Manager

Scottish institute of Maritime Studies
(8 years 10 months)

Marine archaeologist for the Scottish Institute of Maritime Studies, St Andrews University, Scotland. Project managed various contract archaeological projects and initiatives.


  • Underwater
  • Television
  • Offshore
  • Archaeology
  • Writing
  • Diving
  • Research
  • Offshore Drilling
  • Vessels
  • Project Planning
  • ROV
  • Photography
  • Engineering
  • Inspection
  • History
  • Subsea Engineering
  • Maritime
  • Pipelines
  • Maritime Operations
  • Navigation
  • Surveying
  • Offshore Operations
  • Scuba Diving
  • Archival Research
  • Petroleum
  • Maritime Security
  • Gas
  • Occupational Health
  • Marine Engineering
  • Dredging
  • Supervisory Skills
  • Analysis
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Side Scan Sonar
  • Boat
  • Hydraulic Systems
  • FPSO
  • Cables
  • Boating
  • Hydraulics
  • Navigation Systems
  • Offshore Oil & Gas
  • Offshore Construction
  • HUET
  • Oceanography
  • Marine Salvage
  • Naval Architecture
  • Electrical...
  • Coastal
  • See 35+  See less


University of St. Andrews

M.Litt, Marine Archaeology

Education background:
M.Litt in Maritime Studies, St Andrews University, with distinction for my portfolio work. My thesis was, An analysis of shipping incidents and losses off the Fife coast between the River Eden and Anstruther from 1800 to the present day.

NVQ Skills Trainer/Assessor Award (C21, D32) - Perth College.

Robert Gordons University - Graduated with a Certificate of Offshore Survival Technology.

Leith Nautical College, Edinburgh - ONC Nautical Science.

Madras College, St Andrews, Fife – 6 'O' Levels and 2 Highers.

Activities and Societies: Spent 23 years in the University of Life before going to university. Had suitable qualifications and experience not to require a first degree.

Honors & Awards

2007: Presented with a 20 year service medal by HM Coastguard for service in the St Andrews Coastguard Rescue Team.

2007: Presented with a medal of commendation by HM Coastguard and the St Andrews Coastguard Rescue Team in the rescue of a young woman.

2005: Entry by invitation into the Marquis Who’s Who in America book.

2003: Presented with The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for service to HM Coastguard and the St Andrews Coastguard Rescue Team.

2002: Sub Aqua Association Bronze Award for services to sport diving and the association.

2000: Prize winner in the St Andrews Enterprise 2000 Competition. Connect Archaeology Ltd was a new and innovative archaeological contract company specialising in the management of coastal and underwater archaeological projects. .

1996: Winner of the Sub Aqua Association George Arnold Trophy for promoting marine archaeology.

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