Terry Fisher, AP Diving's Chief Engineer, has retired today after 33 years of service with the British diving equipment manufacturer.
By Jeff Parker and Rosemary E Lunn
Birmingham born Fisher moved to Cornwall in Spring 1979 and started work at the Water-ma-trout Industrial Estate. Six months later AP Diving relocated from Coventry to the Water-ma-trout, Industrial Estate in Helston.
In October 1985 the firm that Terry was working for closed down. At the time Terry was a highly skilled toolmaker hence David Parker asked him to work for APD. Terry joined company founders David, Angela and Martin to do “about three months work”! The three months became 33 years.
Terry quickly made himself an essential player in the emerging business, both leading and establishing the AP tool-room team as a hub in all things AP, but also broadening his roles and responsibilities much wider.
Terry learned to dive in 1987. "I was part of the team developing diving equipment so it made sense that I should also scuba dive." The team were responsible for iconic AP dive kit such as the BUDDY Commando, the Auto Air, the Seaking ABLJ, the commercial sat-diving Jump Jacket range, a variety of military jackets and of course, the Inspiration CCR.
The Buddy Inspiration Rebreather
Terry Fisher was among the first people to qualify as an Inspiration diver in the 1990s helping to test, research and develop the early prototypes of this revolutionary piece of kit. His key contributions were made in the lab, the tool-room, the test suite and in-water testing – and he has been there throughout ever since, contributing to all of the developments in both the production and design of the AP closed circuit rebreather range – constantly problem-solving and innovating as a key part of the design team – right up to the present day.
A true behind-the-scenes, but larger than life contributor, to our industry. He puts his whole heart and expertise into his job
In addition he has always been first in the queue to volunteer to represent AP worldwide and has been the ‘face’ of AP at conferences, dive shows and award ceremonies worldwide. (When Martin Parker and Nicky Finn were delayed in the USA in November 2008, Terry Fisher read out a statement at the inaugural EUROTEK Gala Award Dinner from Martin Parker.)
Terry is a widely known and respected figure within the dive industry and with ordinary divers in the UK and international dive community.
In 2016 Terry Fisher was nominated for EUROTEK's 'Unsung Hero' award. This is given to the person who has gone the extra mile to support and develop others in the field of advanced and technical diving. (That year there were votes for 20 people in this category.)
The nominees were
Terry Fisher: AP Diving
"A true behind-the-scenes, but larger than life contributor, to our industry. He puts his whole heart and expertise into his job"
Adrian Gonzalez: Spanish Cave Diver Rescue Group Co-ordinator
"Rescues are always difficult, dangerous and much needed. Adrian is dedicated and provides the kind of support that no-one ever hoes to need, but everyone wants"
John Routley: Narked At 90
"Endless amounts of patience, continuous reliable support for the diver, helping to improve safety and ehance the whole aspect of the sport"
John Womack Jnr: Otter Drysuits
"He always offers great advice, and puts himself out to ensure his customers are completely satisfied. Genuine passion for his products"
Going the extra mile
"Going 'the extra mile' just about sums up Terry’s approach to work and life in general", stated Martin Parker, Managing Director of AP Diving. "If there is an APD organised 3-Peaks challenge, triathlon, 246-km bike ride, pot-hole, sky-dive or 5-aside team to join, Terry is your man.
There are many other contributions and achievements not mentioned here but on top of all of these are the many personal anecdotes, tall tales and just good laughs that all of us at AP have shared working with Terry down the years.
We will miss him. We wish him all the very best for the future and hope he has a very happy and successful retirement."