Damien first went to Antarctica in 1979, as a diving officer with the British Antarctic Survey, and has experienced 3 Antarctic summers and 2 winters on bases at Signy Island, part of the South Orkney Islands, and Grytviken, South Georgia, supporting the inshore marine biological program. He was stranded on South Georgia during the Argentine occupation in the Falklands Conflict and was evacuated after British forces recaptured the island.
Subsequently, Damien has worked as a commercial diver and marine archaeologist and taught in secondary schools and outdoor education for 17 years. He has been a leader on expeditions taking young people to Alaska and British Columbia, and began working on Antarctic tourist vessels during the 2004-05 season. His first trip to the Maritime Arctic was in 2007; since then, he has regularly worked on trips to Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland, and traversed the Northwest Passage. Since 2006, he has lived in Brittany, France, where he now divides his time between marine archaeology and working on polar expedition ships.