A life of spearfishing diving and polo

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Tony Buxton

Born in Sri Lanka, he went to England during the war and eventually returned there in the early 50's. He developed a passion for exploring underwater, before the event of SCUBA. He made a living spearfishing 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. He won the Ceylon National spearfishing 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 Cousteau asked him to join him on an expedition to the Indian Ocean. 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. In 1965 he was invited by award-winning underwater photographer Ben Crop to 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 set up a highly profitable commercial diving venture with Exxon (Esso) underwater cleaning ships. His years of diving to considerable depths without scuba eventually affected his health, and he had to curtail his diving. He took up the sport of polo with the same passion he had for diving and was eventually invited to play on one of the Malay sultans teams and lived in one of their palaces in Malaysia. During which time he played in many international tournaments gaining a polo handicap of +2. After a severe accident playing polo, he retired to Thailand where he lives now.