Diving pizza boy, 59, started delivering after he lost his job to Covid

Thane Milhoan (right) delivers pizza to guests at a submarine lodge in Florida, US (Photo: Pat Malloy)

A diver has revealed what life is like to deliver meals to guests at an undersea hotel.

Thane Milhoan, 59, believes he and his colleague may be the only ‘underwater pizza deliverers’ in the world – but has told Metro.co.uk it’s not all smooth sailing.

The habitat manager at Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Florida believes the best part of his job is watching people react when he comes to the surface with their food.

Exclusive to the website, the former scuba instructor explained that he worked as a high school sports reporter in Hawaii before the Covid crisis.

Now he’s traded that for the most unlikely role in Key Largo, which includes swimming to guests staying at the new resort and delivering their food.

When asked about his favorite part of the job, Thane explains, “I enjoy the reactions people have to having their pizza delivered and the whole experience of staying in the underwater habitat.”

But Thane, of Hilo, Hawaii, added that winter is a problem.

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This time of year water temperatures drop into the low Fahrenheit of the 1970s [around 20°C] and so it’s a bit cold and can get dark earlier, so it can be a bit like a night dive,” he said.

However, the most challenging part of the job is keeping the pizzas dry and warm during the short dive.

Thane explains: ‘We use a drying box for this, which we double pack in plastic bags to keep it extra dry.

“The second challenge is to keep the toppings from falling off, so we use weights and some strategically placed clips to keep the box level in the water.”

Open for about 35 years, the lodge itself was originally a research lab used to explore the continental shelf off the coast of Puerto Rico.

A couple staying at Jules Undersea Lodge, seen through the window.

Guests enjoy their stay at the site, which is located in a ‘natural nursery’ for young fish (Photo: Jules’ Undersea Lodge)

Named in honor of Jules Verne, author of “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” it welcomes divers to a mangrove lagoon hailed as a “natural nursery” for many fish, including barracuda, tropical angelfish, snapper, and parrotfish that pique a prying eye. throwing through the windows at their human neighbors.

It is equipped with a microwave, refrigerator and diving equipment, which guests need to get to their room.

dr. Neil Monney and Ian Koblick are credited with starting the venture, which is now monitored 24 hours a day from a ‘command center’ on land, which also provides fresh air, water, power and communications.

Ian, widely regarded as a pioneer in the underwater world, explains: ‘In fact, marine life is enhanced by the presence of an underwater structure.

Jules' Undersea Lodge.

The Lodge was originally built as a research laboratory (Photo: Jules’ Undersea Lodge)

‘Jules’ Undersea Lodge serves as an artificial reef, providing shelter and substrate for marine life.

“And the airflow to the lodge constantly adds oxygen to the entire surrounding water, creating a symbiotic relationship between man’s technology and the beauty of nature.”

Daniel Belzio, another mission director at the hotel, shares pizza delivery responsibilities with Thane.

While their respective jobs mainly involve other duties, the underwater pizza guys can expect anywhere from $15-$20 (about £11-£15) per hour, plus tips for their dive delivery services.

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Thane isn’t sure how many people have delivered pizza to Jules’ Lodge, but knows there have been many.

As for future career prospects for those who see the role as a dream job, Thane doesn’t seem overly optimistic — but he jokes that the grim future climate experts expect presents unlikely opportunities for his job.

“You never know with sea levels rising in places like Kiribati or the Maldives or something like that — people are going to live underwater, the underwater pizza delivery guy could become something,” he says.

“Until then, since we’re the world’s only underwater hotel to be accessible via scuba, we’ve probably had the exclusive franchise on the underwater pizza delivery game for quite some time now.”

Contact our news team by sending an email to: webnews@metro.co.uk.

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