Filmmaker takes a dive under the ice

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- It’s a fine day out there for some underwater diving.

Yes, you read that right. Believe it or not, a world famous underwater filmmaker made his way to Northeast Wisconsin – just to take dip in our freezing cold bay.

“My job is to travel around the world making films,” says Paul Cater Deaton, a producer and director.

“He has done several documentaries from everybody from the BBC, to National Geographic. He's the staff photographer for underwater shots for The Amazing Race,” says friend and treasurer of the Neptune Dive Club, Brian Bangert.

But with more than 5,000 dives under his belt, seasoned diver Cater Deaton has never before went diving under the ice.

“I've always said that if it requires more than about a 3 [millimeter] wet suit, I haven't been able to get too excited about the dive,” he says. “And this has really changed my perspective, a lot.”

It all started when Bangert and his wife invited Cater Deaton to be the keynote speaker, at the 60th anniversary party of the Neptune Dive Club, the oldest dive club in Wisconsin.

“They said, 'we’ll take you ice diving!' And I was like, 'I can probably get out of this, because I'm not ice diving certified,’” Cater Deaton remembers.

Bangert quickly changed that – and pretty soon, Cater Deaton was taking his first trip under the ice.

“It's an experience where everything is crystal clear, because all the algae falls out of the water column, and you can see a lot of things that you normally can't see during warmer weather,” Bangert explains.

Once you get into the water, the temperature under the ice is actually warmer than the air outside. Meaning staying warm isn’t divers’ biggest concern.

“There are a whole lot of safety concerns to think about,” Cater Deaton says. “Obviously you look at this great expansive ice out here, and in this case, there's only two ways in, and two ways out.”

That means Cater Deaton, and his partner diver, were connected by a wire – and both connected to an immovable object above on the ice.

In the end, the entire project was really about the thrill-seeking experience.

“Yes it's a lot of work, but you set your mind, you're going to have fun, and once you're under water, it's well worth it,” Bangert says.

Cater Deaton tells Action 2 News the experience was two-fold: one to get his feet wet with some ice diving, and another to make a short film while under the water.

Some of the scenes he shot will appear at the Our World Underwater International Film Festival this weekend in Chicago.