Fergus Hinds was born in East Africa and lived there until he was thirteen. He spent ten years in the Royal Navy as a hydrographic surveyor, followed by a couple of years in banking. He then joined a Southampton salvage company that had the worldwide monopoly of recovering cargoes from ships sunk in deep water. When there were no more accessible cargoes left, he freelanced on a small scale for ten years, mostly in the Far East. Now retired, he is married to a doctor and they have three children.