Johnnie Webb is an agent with S.N.O.R.K.E.L.
That unusually long acronym stands for "Section Nine, Ocean Research and Knowledge Establishment for Learning". The organization is under the direction of Professor Wilmslow, an older man sporting a van dyke beard. He describes S.N.O.R.K.E.L. to Webb as "just a vital part of Britain's defense and security network". Wilmslow explains the importance of the department by pointing out that "seventy-one per cent of the Earth's surface is covered by water - that makes the oceans the largest unexplored territory - and potentially the most dangerous".
It has as its operational base a fort on stilts off the east coast of Britain, a building in some need of repair by the looks of it but maintained that way to "satisfy the busy-bodies who constantly try to interfere in our work". Taking an elevator down to 200 feet below the sea-bed will put you in the true headquarters, a very impressive and very large underground/underwater facility.
Webb is, when we first meet him, considered a playboy by, well, everyone because he, again well, is one. He is working as a diving instructor for the 'Teach Dive' Aqua-Lung Training Company but he is growing restless in this latest gig. There was no lack of people to teach to explore and enjoy the oceans since his reputation as an expert wet-skin-man ensured him constant work in the social playgrounds of the world. But his stick-to-it-ness was less than laudable and he was ready to move on to other, more exciting things.
Enter Wilmslow who has been secretly having Webb monitored for the past three months to confirm that he was "a man of exceptional qualities". There was no doubt that as an aquanaut he had no equal but it was observed to Webb that "you share the fault of all so-called adventurers - you're over-dramatic." The question was whether Webb would fit into the organization. That became moot when a situation arose and Wilmslow need Webb, ready or not.
Webb is a very handsome blonde-haired man in his late 20s or very early 30s. He is in exceptional shape due to his getting constant exercise underwater. He obviously enjoys the finer things in life and is always on the lookout for excitement. He drives a "highly individual sports car" and he likes to go fast.