Our Team

Pelagus Acceptum Fortis:  "The Sea Favors the Brave"

The strength of Project Nautilus lies in the extraordinary people who have come together, not only to accomplish a record setting dive, but to make a genuine difference in the world by supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and its mission.  We've assembled a "Dream Team" of professionals, and invite you to take a moment to get to know the people behind the project!


Sara A. Hood

President, Chief Executive Officer

Analytical and highly capable, Sara directs the operations of Project Nautilus with an unparalleled professionalism and unique sense of flair.

With a solid professional background in project management, and application development, her ability to manage multi-dimensional challenges while maintaining the quality of the project and providing effective oversight is second-to- none!

Sara is an accomplished athlete and amateur bodybuilder, and demonstrates the qualities one would expect from a true competitor – commitment, follow-through, ambition, and patience – in her role as the leader of Project Nautilus!


Winton C. Hood

Vice-President, Director of Engineering

Boasting more than 25 years of engineering, manufacturing, and management experience, Winton’s unique blend of technical expertise, leadership roles, and uncanny ability to face challenges effectively and creatively, make him ideally suited to serve as Project Nautilus’s Vice-President, and Director of Engineering.

Having served 20 years in the U.S. Navy, Winton is no stranger to hard work and discipline, and he reflects the core values of his military service in his work with Project Nautilus.

When he isn’t trying to figure out how to keep a man living on the seabed for 100 hours, or building a better mousetrap, Mr. Hood is a motorcycle enthusiast and particularly savvy computer guru.


Keith R. Sagray

Record Attempt Diver

Twenty-five+ years of dive experience ranging from recreational to professional/commercial saturation diving conveys Keith’s true passion and sense of adventure for the sea. 

Keith’s interest in diving began as a teenager, and through the years, evolved into a way to make a living as a working saturation diver and diver medic.  Through hard work and perseverance (and “a dash of stupidity,” as he says), he has achieved what most people only dream about by making a career out of doing what he loves.

Keith’s interests outside of diving are equally fascinating.  A modern day renaissance man and member of Mensa, these days you’ll find him traveling internationally, competing as an amateur bodybuilder, reading voraciously, and engaging in general kick-ass-ery.


Dean Parfitt

Saturation Superintendent / Dive Consultant

A former British Royal Navy Diver, turned commercial saturation diver, turned supervisor, turned superintendent, Dean’s reputation within the professional diving ranks is best described as “Legendary.”

With more than 30 years diving and supervisory experience, Dean’s been responsible for overseeing successful subsea operations on 6 continents, across multiple disciplines, under the most challenging conditions imaginable. We’re proud to have him lending his considerable talent to Project Nautilus, and leading our World Record Dive Team!

Dean’s passion for diving is matched by his enthusiasm for gourmet cooking and ridiculously high-horsepowered British motorcycles.



Buck Buchanan

Technical Advisor

As a Technical Advisor, Buck brings a unique perspective to Project Nautilus! This will be his 3rd time on an endurance world record setting dive team, and his previous experiences have given him insights that he’s graciously shared, as a part of our team!

A Senior ERDI Instructor Trainer with more than 28 years of public safety dive experience, it only takes a brief conversation with Buck to quickly realize how enthusiastic and passionate he is about rising to the challenges that Project Nautilus has accepted!

Hailing from Georgia, Buck and his big-hearted wife open their home, and provide a foster family to displaced dogs and puppies while they’re looking for their “forever homes!”


Bart "The Rev" Stewart


Never one to be described as "risk-averse", Bart is a former skydiver and strength & combatives coach, with a long and storied history within the Houston MMA scene.

Bart comes to this project with his usual tenacity and evangelical enthusiasm. Good friends with Keith for more than two decades, he saw an opportunity to help a fellow adventure seeker test the world’s perception of what "can't be done,” helping a good cause in the process. It was an obvious win/win.

Outside of the project, Bart spends his time pursuing his other interests within the fields of martial arts and unconventional strength training. As Project Nautilus’s Boatswain, Bart is our “Big Stick.” When we need to make things happen on the ground? He’s the unstoppable juggernaut who gets it done.



Allen Sherrod

Technical Advisor / Communications Officer

Allen “The Grouper” Sherrod currently holds the Guinness World Record for the “Longest Openwater (saltwater) Scuba Dive!” …The very record we’re endeavoring to break!

Demonstrating the highest standards of gentlemanly conduct, and a commitment to the sport of diving, Allen joins our team as a Technical Advisor, and also as our representative with the media! His unique insights into what happens to a diver in the water for days on end are invaluable to our dive team, and allow him a perspective that no one else on Earth can share!

An innovator, entrepreneur, conservationist, and die-hard diving enthusiast, Allen and his wife, Barbara, use their combined love for the water, and their technical expertise, to bring mermaids and divers together in an incredible and visually stunning display of subaquatic artistry! Seriously! They do that!


Steve Cooley

Technical Advisor / Dive Supervisor

A professional diver since 1993, Steve has had a hand in everything from tending a diver’s hose to supervising complex saturation dives! An experienced project manager, who consults for companies with household names, he has a natural talent for producing results that are beyond his client’s wildest expectations – and we expect him to work his magic on our project, as well!

Steve’s impressive pedigree includes a seat on the Joint Industry Committee, a body working closely with NASA (and reporting directly to the U.S. Senate) to bring technological advancements developed by the space program to the professional diving world, to increase safety, efficiency, and productivity!

Behind his gruff “former U.S. Marine” exterior, Steve is a gregarious guy who will happily show you photographs of his Ducati motorcycle collection, his family, his motorcycle collection, again, and then a picture of the bike he’s got his eye on, next.


Additional Team Members:


Rod Butler
Dive Supervisor


Chad Woodward
Dive Supervisor


Daniel O’Connell
Dive Supervisor


Alex Gibbs
Life Support Supervisor


Kevin Rodgers
IMCA Diver Medic


Alex Cook
IMCA Diver Medic


Will Blackwell
Lead Diver / Safety Diver Coordinator


Mikey Kent
Asst. Lead Diver


James Scott
Safety / Rescue Diver


Warren Schuur
Safety / Rescue Diver


Dawn Holrath
Safety / Support Diver


Mike Holrath
Safety / Support Diver


Andrew Beltram 
Safety / Support Diver


Blake Bittner
Safety / Support Diver


Victoria Morrison, RN, MSN, FNP-BC 
Medical Officer


Egon Gabrielson
Logistics Coordinator


MJ Anna 
Event Coordinator


MT MacNeil
Hyperbaric Medic

Join Us!

At this time, we still have opportunities available for Safety / Rescue Divers and Support Divers who are interested in volunteering to lend their talents to our dive attempt, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, in December 2015!  If you're a Certified Diver, Divemaster, Scuba Instructor, Tech Diver, or Commercial Diver / DMT, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information on how you can join our team!

We also need help on the surface!  We have opportunities for Event Coordinators/Liasions, Assistants, Nutritionists, and more!  Contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn more about becoming involved, topside!