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Stephen Woolcott remembered in Netflix documentary

Published on 27th January 2017

A new Netflix documentary called Tales by Light has re-ignited interest in the work of tourism operator and VSA friend Stephen Woolcott and his business Kabaira Dive in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea.


The Netflix documentary features renowned photographers as they capture amazing sights around the world. In the first episode titled SubmergedAustralian nature photographer Darren Jew films the 70-year-old wreck of a Mitsubishi Bi-Plane and active volcano in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, with the help of Stephen and his staff.



Stephen Woolcott Kabaira Dive PNG

Stephen on one of his dive tours


Prior to his tragic death in 2014, Stephen was a close friend of VSA, placing two of our volunteers at the dive business he shared with his wife Marsha and playing host to many other volunteers and visitors over the years. 


Stephen (34) and four other men were killed while examining a shipping barge in November 2014. They lost consciousness due to a lack of oxygen, while checking the barge for damage to its bow.


The documentary pays tribute to Stephen via a dedication at the very end of the first episode. VSA continues to mourn Stephen and we have also received numerous tributes from volunteers, friends and strangers leaving comments on our original memorial post. Thank you for your contributions and memories of Stephen. 


Stephen Woolcott memorial

The dedication to Stephen at the end of the Netflix documentary Tales by Light




  • Psique Nieto on 13th October

    A few minutes ago I just watched the documentary on Netflix, and I was ecstatic with the pictures and photographs. Suddenly I was shocked to see the dedication and felt a weight in the chest. I immediately started investigating who Stephen was. I feel his loss, his attitude in the documentary was humility and love for what he did. It is very sad. My condolences from Colombia.

  • Lars by the ocean in Southern California. on 22nd August

    As the in memoriam photo of Stephen's kind, warm smile lits up the screen and Darren's words echo, "To treat every moment as fleeting", I realize how profound the short film I just watched is. It tells me that no matter how amazing our blue planet is or the universe as a whole, there will never be anything than will ever eclipse the precious interaction that take place when one human being connects with another and therefor a kind, warm smile is the most valuable gift we can give ♡ Thank You so very much to all that made this film possible. My kindest regards, deepest condolences and wishes that all the smiles Stephen gave will forever be of outmost comfort to loved ones.

  • Judy Bew on 24th June

    I have just finished watching this marvelous documentary Tales by Light. However, I was also so very saddened by learning of the death of Stephen Woolcott. What a wonderful personality and a lovely smile. I am so sorry for the families loss but I am sure they are still experiencing his love surrounding him.

  • Saydan on 4th June

    I almost cried watching the documentary and finding out that he died was realy saddening. I almost don't believe it.

  • Merryn on 21st May

    I just watched Tales by Light and was saddened to see the dedication to Stephen Woolcott at the end. He had a vivacious energy on screen and a warm smile. My condolences to his wife, children and broader family in what must have been several incredibly difficult years, I wish you all the best for the future.

  • Jess on 12th May

    Just watched the doco on Netflix and read the tragic memorial. My condolences to Stephen's family and friends. Peace love and healing.

  • Scarlett Hughey on 30th April

    Just watched this documentary, superb. Great photos taken. Sorry for Stephens' family in the loss of their loved one. Prayers sent to all those families affected.

  • Alessandra Marchitelli Hess on 27th April

    Like all the rest of the people, I send condolences to his family and am very sorry to hear of this tragic accident. Is there any understanding of what led to all these men not having oxygen on that dive? I ask as it is always useful, to help avoid such tragedies. Loved the documentary Tales by Light! Wonderful :D

  • Megan Walker on 27th April

    I wish to echo Théma's comment above. I just finished watching the first episode of the much anticipated Tales of Light. What a glorious episode of extraordinary photography! Yet such a shock at the end as the lovely dedication to Stephen is shown. I love the photo they used of his happy & mischievous smile... So sad about his young life cut so tragically short. My deepest condolences for your great loss. May you find peace ❤️

  • Théma on 24th April

    Just watched the documentary on Netflix today. Have always enjoyed watching these types of documentaries. I'm sorry for your loss and I'm sorry I'm a bit late. That smile is priceless. Hoping the family has found a sense of peace as they move on with their lives.

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