Fabien Cousteau aims to beat grandfather’s underwater record by staying submerged for 31 days
Filmmaker and sea explorer Fabien Cousteau is attempting to outdo his celebrated grandfather by staying 31 days underwater without surfacing.
Mr Cousteau, 47, and a team of five, dived to a bus-sized underwater laboratory off the Florida coast at the weekend and will not see daylight again until early July.
The aim is to exceed the 30 days underwater achieved by the French film-maker Jacques Cousteau in the Red Sea in 1963. The footage filmed by the older Cousteau was made into an Oscar-winning film, World Without Sun. This was the precursor of a series of TV programmes – the Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau – which transfixed the world in the 1960s and 1970s.
Fabien’s expedition – called “Mission 31” – is intended as a tribute to his grandfather, who died in 1997. It is also intended to raise funds for Aquarius Reef Base, the laboratory 60ft underwater off the Florida Keys, whose future is threatened by cuts in US federal spending.
Other undersea explorers and naval submariners have spent longer than 30 days underwater since Jacques’s expedition 51 years ago. However, Fabien’s team hopes to beat the record for time spent underwater by a film crew and the record for the longest unbroken period of time spent in the Aquarius base.
“I imagine we’ll want to stay down once we get comfy,” Mr Cousteau told the Associated Press. “We won’t want to come back up to the surface because it’s such a magical place.”
Fabien is the son of Jean-Michel Cousteau, who was assistant to his father Jacques on most of the dives and filming for the original Cousteau series. Although born and brought up in France, Fabien has spent most of his life in the United States. Before his death, Captain Cousteau, as he liked to be called, became one of the most celebrated TV performers in the world and an early advocate of the need for government, and private, action to protect the environment. Since his death his reputation has been somewhat tarnished by family quarrels and allegations he occasionally mistreated sea animals to make his documentaries.
Jacques Yves Cousteau achieved 30 days underwater in the Red Sea (AFP) His grandson’s expedition will be broadcast live online. Team members will be able to speak to the public through social media. They will lecture students on land through video links. “For the first time I’m able to invite the world on a Cousteau expedition in real time,” he said.
Researchers from Florida International University and Northeastern University will also study the effects of climate change and pollution on coral reefs. The team will use experimental sonar technology to film without lights that disturb underwater life.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 3 Ed Sheeran dedicates song to David Cameron
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Amal Alamuddin: Human rights lawyer's legal chambers forced to upgrade website following George Clooney wedding
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...