6' 1". 200 pounds. Broad shoulders, husky. Piercing light blue eyes, the color of a coral reef beneath smooth water. Though he is pushing 40, Austin’s hair has turned prematurely platinum, a steel grey color. Austin was raised in and around the sea. His father is the wealthy owner of a marine salvage company based in. Austin could sail almost from the day he could walk. Acquiring a taste for speed, he raced boats from the time he was ten. His big love on his time off is still racing boats.
He lives in a boathouse below the palisades on the Potomac River in Fairfax, Virginia, less than a mile from the CIA at Langley, and near several large mansions that sit on the crest of the palisades. His only exercise is sculling early mornings in the river. Unlike Pitt, he doesn’t own a car but drives only National Underwater & Marine Agency vehicles. Though he is not a serious collector, he owns four different boats. The big racer, a smaller outboard hydroplane, a small 20 foot sailboat and his scull. Austin, unlike Pitt, studies philosophy and collects cased dueling pistols. His collection numbers around 200 sets. He listens to progressive jazz.
While studying for his masters in systems management at the University of Washington, he also attended a high rated dive school in Seattle and trained as a professional diver, attaining high proficiency in a number of specialized areas. After working on the oil rigs in the North Sea for two years, he returned to his father’s marine salvage company for six years before being lured into government service by a little known branch of the CIA that specialized in underwater intelligence gathering. He was assistant director on the secret raising of a Russian submarine, the salvage and investigation of an Iranian container ship carrying nuclear weapons that was sunk clandestinely by an Israeli submarine. He also conducted several investigations into commercial airliners that had been mysteriously shot down over the sea, locating, salvaging and investigation the incidents.
After the end of the cold war, the CIA closed down the undersea investigation branch and Austin was hired by Admiral Sandecker of the NUMA for special undersea assignments that often took place secretly outside the realm of government oversight. As NUMA special undersea investigator, Austin formed a team of experts, including Joe Zavala and the Trouts and over the next ten years they conducted many successful probes into strange and sinister enigmas on and under the world’s oceans.