About Tonic of the Sea

My name is Katie Maggs and I live in the small coastal town of Penzance in Cornwall. I am a Health Sciences lecturer and Deputy Head of department at a local Further Education college, all year round sea swimmer, marine life photographer and enthusiastic snorkeller. I learnt the basics of sea swimming and snorkelling as a young child with my father in local Cornish coves and later developed a passion for the conservation of marine life and subsequent interest in marine wildlife photography. I also work as a marine mammal medic for the BDMLR (British Divers Marine Life Rescue) - carrying out seal, dolphin, porpoise and whale rescues throughout the year and I am a committee member for the Mounts Bay Marine Group whose aim is to conserve and protect our local marine environment.

As an all year round experienced sea swimmer I am an ambassador for Swim Secure - aiding safe outdoor swimming around the world with products designed for swimmers to be safer and seen - as well as providing waterproof storage and information about ensuring safety when taking part in outdoor swims.

I have a BAFTA nominated award winning short film 'Tonic of the Sea' available to view here and YOUTUBE - The film highlights recovery from chronic stress, anxiety and burnout through daily outdoor swimming in the sea. It has been shown around the world and is currently being used in clinical practice to support individuals suffering from physical, emotional and psychological symptoms linked to stress, anxiety, exhaustion and depression.

As a writer my book 'Tonic of the Sea' is ready to be published with design by Jill Barnard. A personal story of breakdown and recovery through open water swimming, a new found connection with the natural world and the support of a local close knit outdoor swimming community. (Please get in touch via my contact page if you are interested in assisting with publication). I have also written published articles for Psychologies, Wed, Oh, and Outdoor Swimmer magazine as well as online publications for National Newspapers. 

As a keen snorkeller I snorkel all year round along the Cornish Coast at low tide to photograph the array of fascinating marine life found there. I use a Go Pro Hero 9 with a Telesin Dome Port for half under the water and half sky or land photos as well as using an Olympus TG6 for more detailed macro images - such as the miniature life I discover in rockpools and on the shoreline throughout the seasons here. I regularly encounter new marine life where I use my images to help me to identify their scientific name online. 

I have recently completed filming for episode 7 of BBC2's Winterwatch - highlighting the numerous advantages of regular outdoor swimming and the joy and wonder to be found in snorkelling and underwater photography. The episode explains my close connection with the sea and my passion for the protection, conservation and respect for the ocean and its marine life.

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