Southern Illinois native makes a splash with YouTube diving channel

By Sara Wangler, Staff Reporter

Southern Illinois native Cody Bret has worn a lot of hats — financial adviser, relationship counselor, personal trainer — but now, he’s making a splash with his diving videos.

Bret grew up near Junction, Illinois, but mainly travels now. He has been making diving videos for about four months, although he doesn’t make a profit off of diving.

The Daily Egyptian spoke with Bret about diving, his channel and his plans for the future.

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DE: What made you start a diving Youtube channel?

“I’ve been wanting to dive for years,” Bret said. “The Youtube thing just kind of happened. Starting out I recorded myself on a dirt bike with a cheap camera. I’d attach the camera to a bucket and ride around, then I’d stitch the clips together.”

Youtube sat dormant for Bret for six to seven years, but his channel has grown since then and he is now at 2.08k followers. 

“I just got back into it and applied something I loved,” Bret said. 

Bret said he wanted a fun, yet clean hobby.  

“If you’re from southern Illinois, you know there really isn’t much to do,” Bret said. “So I made up my own fun. I’d go out and free dive a lot.”

Bret got his license to dive and updated his equipment. 

“I figured I’d go scuba diving, I could go deeper and breathe for longer,” Bret said. “There aren’t many divers in the area, there’s one that I know of but he dives in a facility. But I want to dive everywhere.”

Bret has since found various items, from rings to sunglasses, and returned them to the original owners. 

DE: Do you have an education in marketing/how do you promote yourself?

“I’m self-taught in marketing, I run all of my social media accounts,” Bret said. “I’ve gotten messages from companies that want me to work with them.”

Bret has also been in grocery stores handing out his card and spreading the word about himself. 

“I’ve over 400,050 members on Facebook from all of my pages,” Bret said. “I’m involved with a lot of things, I sell on Amazon and eBay, I’m into social media marketing for other companies, I did relationship counseling for a while, financial advising, and I was a personal trainer for years.”

Bret said scuba diving is all out of pocket, which can be expensive. 

DE: Where have you been and where do you see yourself going?

“I’ve traveled all over the country and dove places,” Bret said. “I’ve had people want to pay me to dive and find something, but their reaction is payment enough.”

Bret said the farthest place he’s been to dive is Florida, but he plans to venture to different countries when traveling is safer. 

“I got a message from someone in the Philippines about a dive, I’d love to go,” Bret said. “As far as the future, I hope to grow my channel and travel.” 

DE: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found?

Bret said he has found stuff people have seen before, like rings, necklaces, sunglasses, and a seven-foot snake. 

“I haven’t come across anything too crazy yet,” Bret said. “I did have a guy ask me if I had found any teeth recently.”

DE: How has the pandemic affected you, if at all?

Bret said the restrictions with the pandemic haven’t affected him. 

“It would if I went out of the country obviously, when I went to Florida it was the height of everything,” Bret said. “ I just kept to myself, it didn’t prevent me from anything.”

DE: What’s your main purpose behind diving?

“My main purpose is to return lost valuables to people all over the world that they cannot replace, like an heirloom from their great grandmother,” Bret said. “The sentimental and priceless things that I can return to their rightful owners is mainly what I’m doing it for.” 

Bret said his hope is to also raise awareness about pollution within our society.

 “If we all did our part in helping keep this planet we call home clean and free from foreign objects in places we love and enjoy spending time at, this would be a better place,” Bret said.  

Bret’s Youtube Channel can be found here

Staff reporter Sara Wangler can be reached at swangler@dailyegyptian.com or on Twitter at @sara_Wangler.

To stay up to date with all your southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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