Andy Casagrande Member Story

Meet Andy Casagrande, an Emmy Award-winning cinematographer, producer, television host, and wildlife filmmaker who has been a proud DAN member for over 20 years. Andy’s captivating work includes over 100 films and documentaries showcased on National Geographic, BBC, Animal Planet, and many others. Scuba divers may recognize Andy from his work for Discovery Shark Week. As a committed conservationist and shark enthusiast, he takes part in research expeditions and collaborates with top shark experts worldwide, while running his production company, ABC4EXPLORE.

Though Andy’s storytelling leads him to encounters and locations most of us will never face, like coming nose-to-nose with great whites, he believes that every diver should be a DAN member.

In this interview, Andy shares how DAN helps him dive safely and confidently.

Interview Chapters

1:10 Andy’s background and schedule

2:00 How long have you been filming sharks?

2:32 Where is your favorite place to dive?

3:25 Do you take your family with you on trips?

5:53 How do you prepare to film sharks?

8:10 Emergency action plans

9:32 The first time Andy called DAN

12:16 The second time Andy called DAN 

14:42 Pre-dive safety checklists                  

16:28 DAN website and Alert Diver Magazine

17:07 DAN’s global reach 

18:55 DAN’s 24/7 emergency hotline

19:37 Oxygen and first aid equipment

21:30 Crew member safety

22:50 Andy’s favorite DAN benefit

24:00 Andy’s advice for divers who aren’t members

24:50 What does DAN mean to your family?

25:42 Other times I’ve seen DAN in action

28:20 DAN research initiatives

28:47 DAN headquarters and departments

29:50 DAN doctors and medics

30:35 DAN regional emergency hotlines 

30:55 What would the industry be without DAN?

32:43 DAN is here for you

33:15 What have you learned about dive safety?

34:55 What advice would you give to newer divers?

Interview Highlights

What is the most important DAN benefit to you?

Andy Casagrande: Knowing that I can call a doctor who specializes in dive medicine to help me work through issues is important to me. Medical evacuation is huge. And the fact that my safety is going to be number one if I get injured in an accident.

Andy Casagrande diving with sharks

What advice would you give newer divers, or those going through their certification?

Andy Casagrande: It’s an amazing sport. You should have fun, but you should be confident that you understand your gear and what to do in an emergency. Get as many certifications as you can, from open water to advanced to rescue. The more you learn, the more you know — the safer you’ll be. And the more fun you’ll have!

Andy Casagrande operating an underwater camera

What would the industry be like without DAN?

Andy Casagrande: DAN is at the forefront of dive safety, dive insurance, and dive medicine. Without DAN, I think Shark Week would be way sketchier. If you board a boat and they don’t have emergency oxygen or the DAN number, you’re on the wrong boat. I’ve had to call DAN twice. Knowing that they’ve got my back, knowing they have global reach … that’s pretty awesome.

Andy Casagrande cruising on a boat expedition

Interview highlights have been edited for length and clarity. Photos courtesy of Andy Casagrande.