Celebrating Jacques Cousteau’s Birthday with his Grandson, Fabien

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Within the underwater world, the final identify ‘Cousteau’ holds a number of historical past and legacy. Typically referred to as the ‘Father of Scuba Diving‘, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the famed underwater explorer and pioneer, invented the aqua-lung in 1943 together with his associate Émile Gagnan. Once they breathed, this demand-valve know-how delivered compressed air. This innovation accomplished their self-contained underwater respiration equipment (SCUBA), which is the precursor to in the present day’s modern diving equipment that everyone knows, use and love.

As Cousteau’s eldest grandson, Fabien, tells it, he was born to proceed Jacques’ legacy. The elder Cousteau taught his grandson to dive as baby, and the youthful joined his grandfather on his legendary expedition ships, the Calypso and Alcyone. At this time, Fabien continues and expands his grandfather’s work – discovering new and progressive methods to discover, preserve and restore the blue planet earlier than it’s too late. 

Fabien Cousteau and friends
PADI reporter Tiffany Duong joined Fabien Cousteau and Fabien Cousteau Ocean Studying Middle members Martín Molina Castellnon and Pamela Fletcher for a Dive Towards Particles.

Lately, I joined Fabien for a Dive Towards Particles cleanup and Dive Against Debris Specialty coaching within the Florida Keys. Naturally, I requested him about his household’s connection to the ocean and why it issues a lot to them.

This June 11th, in celebration of Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s 111th birthday, we at PADI are sharing a few of what Fabien advised us about his grandfather, scuba diving, and the oceans.


Reminiscences of Jacques-Yves Cousteau

PADI: How do you keep in mind your grandfather?

Fabien Cousteau: I had the luck of spending the primary 30 years of my life with my grandfather round. For years, perhaps the primary decade and a half, I simply noticed him as my grandfather… He can be how I think about most grandparents are – very concerned about their grandchildren and spending time with them. It wasn’t till we have been in a Japanese restaurant in New York Metropolis at some point and other people stored coming as much as our desk to interrupt our household time asking for him to signal issues that I noticed our grandfather wasn’t only for us. We have been sharing him with the world. And that’s once I realized, very naïve of me, what an iconic public determine he was, particularly for the ocean world.

PADI: What else?

Fabien Cousteau: He didn’t got down to be a conservationist. Curiosity impressed Jacques. He was occupied with movies and liked telling tales. A critical damage from a automotive accident stopped him from becoming a member of the Navy, and he swam as a part of his rehab. Then, a good friend of his launched him to the undersea world, and it fascinated him. His eyes have been like, “Look how superb this place is,” and he needed to share that with the world.

PADI: What was diving like ‘again then’?

Fabien Cousteau: Again once I discovered to dive, we didn’t have BCDs or something like this. It was simply us and the water. My dad is the oldest lively diver, and he’s PADI certificate 002. My grandfather helped PADI begin off; he’s certificates 001.

Diving in (Actually) with Fabien Cousteau

Fabien Cousteau headshot
Fabien Cousteau is an aquanaut, ocean advocate and conservationist. Photograph by Carrie Vonderhaar.

PADI: What’s a day within the lifetime of a Cousteau?

Fabien Cousteau: I placed on pants and a wetsuit identical to anybody else. I get up like everybody else. I attempt to have my espresso – I really like good espresso. Subsequent, I run by means of my day and attempt to accomplish as many duties as potential. Then I sleep, exhausted however able to get up and do it once more. 

PADI: How does it really feel to proceed your grandfather’s legacy advocating for the oceans?

Fabien Cousteau: There was by no means strain, and it was by no means anticipated. However, when one has skilled the ocean world, it’s inconceivable to show your again on it… and, it’s one thing that lots of people gained’t get the prospect to do. Due to that, it’s completely paramount for my part to continue in the family philosophy.

And, I adore it. I’m hooked on oceans.

Fabien Cousteau removes rope from a Florida Keys reef.
Fabien Cousteau removes rope tangled round a coral reef within the Florida Keys. Photograph by Tiffany Duong/Ocean Rebels.

PADI: What’s your favourite post-dive custom?

Fabien Cousteau: The hearth chat afterward. Sharing your day’s adventures with the group, your dive buddies, relations. 

Like at present, we did two Dives Against Debris and pulled out a report 664 kilos of trash from the oceans. It’s a tremendous factor to offer again like that—to go away the ocean a greater place than we discovered it—after which to have the prospect to share that with individuals we care about.

Fabien Cousteau sits with debris removed from a Florida Keys reef.
Fabien Cousteau, members of the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Studying Middle, and Florida Keys divers eliminated a record-breaking 664.eight kilos of particles from coral reefs within the Florida Keys. Photograph by Tiffany Duong/Ocean Rebels.

Conservation and the Cousteaus

PADI: What are your thoughts on plastics?

Fabien Cousteau: For starters, the primary strategy to cease it from getting into our oceans is to cease utilizing single-use plastics. It all the time shocks me once we use supplies that final 500 years for single use. 

An expedition went deeper than ever earlier than, and the very first thing they discovered was a chip bag and Fanta….

Fabien Cousteau diving
Fabien Cousteau on a dive expedition. Photograph by Discovery Channel.

PADI: How do you see the longer term?

Fabien Cousteau: We will’t simply speak concerning the issues; we gotta speak about options. It’s not going to be me discovering them – it’s gotta be everybody. 

For younger individuals, the phrase “unimaginable” doesn’t exist – and that’s superior. They’re going to create the options.

PADI: Any recommendation to these studying?

Fabien Cousteau: Shield the ocean as in case your life trusted it – as a result of it does.

Throughout a clean-up dive, Jesus Gudino and Fabien Cousteau (proper) use raise luggage to convey derelict lobster traps up from the seafloor. Photograph by Tiffany Duong/Ocean Rebels.

Need to Create Your Personal Ocean Legacy?

Listed here are a few of our favourite methods to dive into ocean conservation:

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