Aggressor’s Caribbean Captains – Captain Jonathan Zietlow

By: Captain Jonathan

I have always wanted to work for the best of the best.  Aggressor has been the industry leader in dive liveaboards for as long as I can remember. After spending my career traveling and working in some of the premier dive destinations in the world, I wanted to use my skills and experience to join the best. The Aggressor Fleet.

Before starting my career in the dive industry, my experience includes both the Service Industry and Mechanical/Industrial.  Having worked for five years as a Machinist Apprentice, as well as several years as a restaurant manager. Me and my wife met while working on a liveaboard in Palau. Our first son was born in Philippines and our youngest was born while living in Hawaii.

 I started diving in 1997 when a friend from the aquarium hobby asked me to do a SCUBA class together. My first open water dives were in a quarry where I fell in love instantly with the underwater world. I wanted more, so I packed up  everything I owned and moved down to south Florida where I could dive everyday.   

  I started taking classes, wanting to learn everything I could about this new world I had found. Advanced through instructor in the next few years. All the while diving from the beaches before and after work everyday. Completing the instructor course in 2002 I came to the realization that my new passion could also be my new career.  I wanted more, I wanted to see everything. 

  Next stop, Maui, Hawaii.  My first SCUBA job had me back on the beaches. For the next couple years Discover Scuba & Open Water Checkout Dives kept me busy everyday.  Maui was amazing.  I swam with dolphins & humpback whales, found rare nudibranchs, explored lava caverns and saw more turtles than I ever thought possible. I loved my new career, but was envious of the crew who got to work the boats. 

  As I learned more about working in the dive industry, it became clear there was only one job I really wanted.  Liveaboards.  Boats dedicated to diving the best destinations in the world. Diving all day, on the best reefs, in all the world’s oceans.  My dream job was found.

  Off to the Bahamas, back in the Caribbean where the reefs felt like home. Sharks and rays, shipwrecks and sharks, coral encrusted reefs, walls, swim throughs & more sharks.   Best of all, now I am at sea.  

  Starting off as the lowest deckhand I was glad to learn.  Scrubbing decks, cleaning cabins and filling tanks, it was my job to do the tasks nobody wants. Until the captain said “Follow Jack this week on the shark feed. Because Jack is on holiday next week and you need to run the dive”.   I couldn’t be happier, I was diving all day, learning the ins and outs of boat life. I moved up from deckhand to divemaster. Then eventually into the engineering department and finally taking the courses to get my captain’s ticket in 2006.

  Thailand, Egypt, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Palau, Saba, St Kitts I had the best job in the world in the most amazing destinations.  Only one thing left. To work with the best company in the Dive Industry. I joined the Aggressor Fleet in 2019.  First stop: The Caribbean, back to where I fell in love with the underwater world.

 “I get to meet happy people and make them happier”

Captain Jonathan

You may also like