“Black Man Under The Deep Blue Sea” is an autobiography that describes the exciting true and oftentimes humorous story of how Tony overcame being the product of a broken family, stereotyping, numerous challenges, several close calls and countless other eye opening events to become the only Black American Commercial Deep Sea Diver to work in the demanding Offshore Oilfields in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa in the 80’s and 90’s, where, at the slightest mistake, the rich oil companies were ready to send a diver packing his bags and headed back to shore, never to be hired again.

When his mother remarried a military man they uprooted and moved from small town USA to Hawaii, where, at the tender age of 14, learning to swim stood in his way of passing or failing the SCUBA diving course, the self taught Tony soon afterwards found himself being challenged by a popular high school classmate about the kinds of things Blacks should and shouldn’t be doing in the first place.
Undeterred, it was SCUBA diving that would later be his eye opener to the underwater world he had only dreamed about till now and his springboard to eventually enrolling into the Professional Divers Course at the Commercial Diving Center (CDC) in Los Angeles. However, it was during this course where he suffered a near-fatal diving accident that almost ended his career before it even began.
When he arrived in Singapore in January 1982, Tony was 25 years old, had experienced a years worth of diving work in San Diego and his CDC Professional Divers Course under his belt and was ready to take on the world. However, he would soon discover that nothing in his life could have prepared him for the experiences, challenges, wild sexcapades and adventures he would face while working in that exciting, demanding and sometimes dangerous profession.
Two near drownings, the deadly diving disease known as, bends, and the search and recovery of a crashed helicopter along with all thirteen persons onboard (that crashed while on its way to pick Tony up) were just a few of the experiences that Tony faced during his colorful commercial diving career.
His diving adventures eventually led him to join a treasure hunting expedition in Indonesia searching for the richest ship that ever sank and he was later hired by the Pakistan government to search for lost smuggler’s gold in the Persian Gulf. While on a survey boat out looking for new wrecks in Indonesia, Tony and crew were illegally detained, whereby, himself and three other people were held in an 8’ x 8’ foot jail cell until a huge amount of bribery money was paid to get them out of jail and back to freedom.
In the end Tony not only discovered that, globally, people basically share the same wants in life such as health, love and happiness. He also learned that no matter what race or gender you are, no one should let ignorant advice or stereotyping influence their dreams and rightful choice of goals in life.

Read Chapter 1


    I have recently completed writing the movie script for, "Black Man Under The Deep Blue Sea". It is 109 pages long. Final Draft 7 script writing software was used to write this script. Anyone interested in reviewing this movie script please email me at  for more info.



    What if Jacques Cousteau was a black American? Would he have had the opportunities to explore the waters, write books about his experiences, and have TV documentaries made on his behalf? Or would he have faced the same barriers as black commercial diver Tony Wells? In Wells’ memoir, “Black Man under the Deep Blue Sea,” we learn of the author’s obstacles in attempting to be a successful diver, among them being the inherent risk, the difficult training requirements, and even racism.

    “Black Man under the Deep Blue Sea,” commences with the author’s humble beginnings in Michigan as the product of divorce, life in a small town in Illinois where he enjoyed hunting and fishing with his buddies, and eventually a life in Hawaii with his mother and stepdad who was serving in the military. In Hawaii, surrounded by beautiful mountains and clear water, Wells makes a life-changing decision to take up scuba diving. Though the courses are difficult, especially since he must first learn to swim, he completes them successfully, regardless of the ridicule he faces from a fellow black classmate who tells him “brothers don’t do that shit”:

“Oh? Why can’t brothers do that shit?” I retorted back.

His immediate retort was, “Just because! How many brothers do you see doing any of that stuff?”

His last question caught me by surprise because it never even occurred to me, but I didn’t know any other brother’s (sic) doing any of the stuff I’d been doing, and I had never even thought about or questioned it. I guess I was raised thinking that color was never a factor in whether you could do something in life or not. Who cares what color you are? If you wanted to do it then just go and do it. Otherwise, shut up.

    Oh, but brothers can dive, and Wells becomes an expert in the field. Later in the book, we learn just how race and politics affect the diver and his drive for commercial success, from being called a nigger by a racist South African supervisor to losing out on jobs due to red tape put in place by the British. We even learn of the author’s adventures in Singapore as a model, actor, and even a gigolo paid to have sex with a woman while her partner watches. What’s more, there are interesting stories of near deaths, stories of the Chinese mafia, and humor to keep you smiling throughout this rather unique book.

    Wells is not the most gifted writer on the planet. His awkward storytelling style includes too much technical jargon and reads more like a diary than a polished draft, and the work could use a stronger edit. However, the book itself depicting an African-American military brat who ends up working as a commercial diver, traveling around the world, and defying against all odds makes a fascinating memoir. It is very educational for anyone seeking to learn about the financial benefits a commercial diver can obtain, the odds a minority might face in the business, and how one can overcome any odds when he puts his mind to it. Perhaps with a ghostwriter, it could become a bestselling Black History memoir.

African American Literature Book Club (


    I was very curious as to what this book would contain when I saw its title, “Black Man under the Deep Blue Sea: Memoirs of a Black Commercial Diver in Southeast Asia.”  The author delivers what he promises in the title and much more.  I had a little trouble when I first started reading because the author writes like he speaks.  Once I got used to his style I found it was more like reading a personal diary about his years in Southeast Asia.  The vivid details he uses to describe his adventures more than make up for the sometimes confusing writing style.     

    The author, Tony Wells, always had big aspirations.  He began his life in the mid-west where deep sea diving is not on anyone’s radar, especially an African American.  He spent his younger years dreaming of race car driving.  This all changed when his mother remarried a Navy man and the family moved to Hawaii.  It was there after much determination that he discovered his passion for diving.  After moving back to the mainland he decided to pursue a career as a commercial diver. 

    After a few years Wells became frustrated by the limitations of working in the US and decided to pursue adventure and freedom by commercial diving in Southeast Asia.  He takes on many jobs over the years on rigs, repairing pipelines and even as a treasure hunter.  His vivid tales sometimes reflect the harrowing experiences that he lived through.  His travels take him to many countries throughout his years in Southeast Asia and he includes stories about the wonderful places he was able to visit during that time. 

    Tony Wells is an inspiration and role model that anyone can accomplish whatever they wish.  The author best sums up his overall message “The bottom line here is – no matter what race you are, black, white and everything in between, no matter what gender you are, male or female, don’t let ignorant advice or stereotyping control what goals you have in your life no matter what they are.  If you want to do it – all you can do is to give it your best shot and go for it and, even if you fail, nobody can knock you for that!”  If you enjoy a good adventure or think that the odds against you are insurmountable then you must read “Black Man under the Deep Blue Sea: Memoirs of a Black Commercial Diver in Southeast Asia!”  /  Read INTERVIEW here


Black Man Under the Deep Blue Sea; is about the life of the only black American diver who was young and naïve when working in Southeast Asia. He was in Southeast Asia, Singapore, the United States in San Diego and Hawaii. Hawaii was a great resource for his experiences in learning how to dive. The author covers his commercial diving school, his first commercial diving job (in San Diego), his overseas adventures and work.  This author in great detail uniquely described the divers’ experiences in the diving bell.  He shows that he was not prepared for his experiences beneath the sea.

    Black Man Under the Deep Blue Sea is a definite “story of perseverance and survival”.  The author takes us to depths no one could imagine in deep sea diving.  This is truly a story of the call of the ocean to a young man.  It's an exciting and factual account of this author’s life.  Black man Under the Deep Blue Sea is one of the best ocean based novels I've read in a long time.  KUDOS!

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