UBS is friendly, family run scuba dive center, with the emphasis on privacy and safety...
Take a few minutes to find out how it all started. UBS Dive Center is staffed by highly qualified professional divers with
years of experience and teaching behind them.
Tony Brunn arrived in the British Virgin Islands on February 20th 1991. He carried a backpack of clothes and dive gear, a guitar in one hand and a dive tank in the other. He had $600 in his pocket. Tony went straight to a small island called Jost Van Dyke where his friend lived at the time. This friend lived in a cement hut with no running water or electricity. Tony explored the surrounding reefs and worked odd jobs for three months. When the work ran out he then moved to St. John where Tony found his way to Coral Bay and lived on an old catamaran owned by a local dive shop. He made a living selling lobsters and doing odd jobs for the local watersports company. His break came when he heard that one of the big, established dive companies in the BVI was looking for a dive instructor. After thirty days of exile Tony returned to the BVI's and began full time work as an instructor.
While on a dive excursion on April 25, 1994 a woman named Kathryn Bell was among the 15 or so tourists diving that day. She claims to have fallen in love with Tony while watching him carefully replace a Banded Coral Shrimp back in its sponge. Kathryn has never lived in England since. She took up an offer of employment with another established Dive Company and stayed in the BVI. Tony and Kate were married in England in June of 1999.
In 1995 Tony began doing commercial diving services for the charter companies as well as continuing to work as a Dive Instructor. Hull cleaning, inspections, propeller replacements and mooring installations was his daily grind. By the beginning of 1996 he began doing this full time with the formulation of Underwater Boat Services and Maintenance Limited. Following the acquisition of the 20 foot inflatable “Reef Explorer” in 1997, Kathryn quit her job and they both concentrated on Underwater Boat Services. For the next two years they built their business the hard way, with commercial work for Tony, and the occasional dive charter for Kathryn, where she would be a private Instructor living aboard a large crewed yacht for a week to teach the guests to dive. In 1998 a dive compressor and a small line of dive equipment was bought. Finally they could do what they always wanted, allocate each group of family and friends their own private dive boat for the day. They operated from the backyard of a friend's house in Sea Cows Bay.
In 1999 they purchased their second boat, a 25 Foot Sea Craft named “Reef Dancer”. Now they were able to offer trips beyond the rendezvous service. It was time to find a permanent home. In December 1999 Underwater Boat Services moved to a storefront property at the new marina in East End called Harbour View. It was chosen for it's central location. From the Harbour View location Tony and Kathryn could access over 100 dive sites and operate the largest rendezvous service area of any dive operator. The business name was changed to UBS Dive Center at this time. By mid 2000 UBS had grown to include two more experienced instructors and its inventory tripled to offer equipment rentals, retail sales, repairs, air fills and a full line of accessories. In mid-2004, they placed an order for a brand new Baha Cruiser, fitted out to UBS specifications as a first-class dive boat. The boat was manufactured in Florida and delivered to Tortola in December of '04 and christened Reef Chief. This third boat has allowed UBS to better serve more divers as they have had the pleasure of many divers returning time and again to experience the great diving in the BVI and re-new friendships with the UBS staff.
Although the road is long, Tony and Kate have a lot more planned for UBS. Their undoubted success comes from recognising that diving is an individual experience and requires a unique approach for each diver.
The important question is: what do you want to do today? Your response determines the plans for the day.