Free Diving to Fame and Fortune

The incredible adventures of a pioneer freediver in Sri Lanka in the early 50's. Setting himself up as an underwater guide, he attracted the rich and famous seeking a new interest. They invited him to their homes where the led a glamorous life style he hardly knew existed. Hans Hass and Jaques Cousteau both offered him employment. Later he made a fortune as a commercial diver in Singapore. More

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About Tony Buxton

Tony Buxton was born in 1931 in Sri Lanka. There he developed a passion for exploring underwater, before the event of SCUBA. He made a living spear fishing as well as being an underwater guide, during which time many rich and famous people, including local politicians used his services. He was the first person to dive in the Maldives and southern India. Hans Hass invited him to Join his filming expedition to the Andaman and Laccadive islands in the Indian ocean. He won the Ceylon National spear fishing Championships in 1959, and then went on to the world Championships in Malta where he came first on the British team. After the event, he was invited by Jacques Cousteau to meet him in Monaco, and some years later he nvited him to join him on an expedition to the Indian Ocean. In 1959 he was appointed a member of the Ceylon Government Tourist Board. His duties were was to promote underwater tourism.
Leaving Sri Lanka in 1963, he went to Thailand where he was the first person to dive there, and he founded the Thailand sub aqua club with some Thai friends. In 1965 he embarked on a Chinese Junk from Sydney which would join up with award-winning underwater photographer Ben Crop in Fiji and star in his film "Challenge of the sea". During the filming, he explored unknown reefs in the Pacific with well-known underwater explorer Jacques Dumas.
Eventually, he moved to Singapore and was elected President of The South East Asia Diving Federation in 1966. He set up a highly profitable commercial diving venture with Exxon (Esso) underwater cleaning ships. He took up the sport of polo with the same passion he had for diving. Playing in international tournaments, he achieved a Polo handicap of +2 and was eventually invited to play on one of the Malay sultans teams and lived in one of their palaces in Malaysia.
He retired to Thailand and at the age of 80 wrote four books about his adventures.

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