Bret was an employee of the Burnette Marine Research Center.
As a summer job, Bret and his friend Jake worked at the research center. They were in charge of the subs that were used to explore the reef. They named them "Tornado 1" and "Tornado 2".
When Ro came to the center, she chatted with Bret, hoping to get a free tour of the reef. As he prepped the sub, Agent Bennet ordered him to take an extra passenger. Ro and James initially did not get along, Ro feeling robbed out of a time to get to know Bret. Bret didn't mind; he loved the reef and he loved to show it to them. Hoping to wow his crowd, he steered into the reef. Distracted by his grumpy passengers, he collided with the reef's artificial support frame. Bret was knocked out.
As help was sent, Bret was returned to the surface.