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Paul de Gelder

Paul de Gelder

Paul de Gelder had only 2 things he was deathly afraid of – Sharks and public speaking – now he makes a living through both.

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  • A troubled youth kicked out of home at 17.
  • Left home town and became a rapper – opened for Snoop Dogg in 1998.
  • Joined the Australian Army Airborne Unit then applied and passed arduous Navy Clearance Diver selection course.
  • Attack by a Bull Shark whilst conducting Counter terrorism trails in Sydney harbour in 2009 and lost 2 limbs. Returned to work after 6 months and instructed Navy Divers for 3 years eventually moving into speaking and documentary hosting.
  • Published his book No Time For Fear with Penguin Publishing.
  • Now under contract with Discovery channel Paul lives in LA and travels the world speaking and hosting America’s most viewed week of network programming, Shark Week.


These three words – a mantra Paul learnt in the Australian Army as a young Paratrooper – resonated with him the first time he heard them.

Paul de Gelder chased adventure wherever he could find it, from his wild ride as a hoodlum teen and his whirlwind lifestyle working in strip clubs & the music industry to hauling his way up to the elite echelons of the Australian Defence Forces as an Army paratrooper and then Navy bomb disposal diver.

But trouble hunted him down in the form of a brutal shark in February 2009 while diving for the Navy. Paul lost two limbs, and his career as a daredevil diver was flung into jeopardy.

Drawing on everything his eventful life had taught him, Paul left nothing to chance in his recovery. He fought through excruciating pain, smashing challenge after challenge whilst amazing the medical staff and the Australian public with his will to succeed. His inspiring story as detailed in his autobiography “No Time for Fear” takes the saying “never say die” to a whole new level.

In the eight years since the shark attack, Paul’s life has changed in every aspect.

Having left full time Navy Service in August 2012, after continuing to instruct Navy Divers for a further three and a half years, Paul has travelled the world as a top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, adventurer and mentor to school kids. He has spoken at venues across the globe, from the United Nations in New York and the US Navy in San Diego to Military celebrations in front of thousands and keynotes for multimillion dollar corporations and charity organisations around Australia and S.E Asia.

He has also been a guest on every major Australian TV talk show and many in the U.S. He starred as a guest trainer on the Biggest Loser Australia, and has hosted 9 documentaries for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Where he learnt to hand feed Bull Sharks, Hammerheads, Blue Sharks, dive with tiger sharks and even Great Whites without the protection of a cage. Paul also became part of an anti-poaching team in Africa to hunt poachers and film the amazing work done by the Rangers there for “FEARLESS”, aired on NatGeo.

Paul has been touted as one of the top 15 inspirational Australians and top 10 speakers and now based between Sydney & Los Angeles he is preparing to film yet more documentaries and recently completed an acting role for a 6 part mini series for Australia’s largest cable network.

Improvise, Adapt & Overcome

The Paul de Gelder story.

From a trouble teen to the elite of Australia’s Military.

How when a brutal shark attack took away one man’s dream life and career the human spirit triumphed leading to life lessons that can not be learnt any other way but by facing down death.

The Power of Embracing Fear

Paul de Gelder had only 2 things he was deathly afraid of – Sharks and public speaking – now he makes a living through both.

Paul talks from the heart about overcoming self harm, bullying and depression as a teenager and how even though he felt less capable than most around him he learnt the lessons of transferring the things that he was most afraid of into his greatest strengths.

SHARKS - a peak into the world of sharks from a Shark Week host who lost two limbs

From the wilds far off the coast of Western Australia cageless diving with families of Great Whites to flipping Blue Sharks onto their backs by hand miles off the coast of Rhode Island.

From Catching crocodiles and attaching croc cams to study their interactions with sharks to parachuting into the oceans of the worlds 2nd largest shark sanctuary, Paul de Gelder has not only seen but done it all.

In 2018 Paul spent 43 hours drifting through the Atlantic ocean with no food or water and surrounded by a school of Oceanic White tip Sharks – the same species responsible for the death of hundreds of ship wrecked sailors of the USS Indianapolis. The same year he taught mega star Will Smith to dive with Tiger Sharks and UFC hall of famer Ronda Rousey how to hand feed Bull Sharks in Fiji.

Step into the world of a Shark Week host and find out exactly what it’s like to face off against one of the most feared animals on the planet.

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