Philippe Cousteau

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Philippe-Pierre Cousteau, Sr. (December 30, 1940 – June 28, 1979) was a documentary filmmaker specializing in environmental issues, with a background in oceanography. He was the second son of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Simone Cousteau.

Born in Toulon, Philippe Cousteau first dived with an aqua-lung in 1945. He was a professional diver from the age of 7. A pilot and a witness of the advance of science in the art of diving and underwater adventure, he grew up traveling the world, learning about different cultures, and acquiring several languages.

In February 1967, Cousteau accompanied his father on the RV Calypso for an expedition to film the sharks of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. As well as being the lead photographer for the expedition, Philippe also chronicled his experiences in the 1970 publication Shark: Splendid Savage of the Sea. Until his death in 1979, he coproduced numerous documentaries with his father, including Voyage to the Edge of the World (1976, for the cinema theatres) and his own PBS series, Oasis in Space (1977, for the television), concerning environmental issues.

Cousteau lent his technical expertise to the U.S. Navy's SEALAB program. In the aftermath of aquanaut Berry L. Cannon's death while attempting to repair a leak in SEALAB III, Cousteau volunteered to dive down to SEALAB and help return it to the surface, although SEALAB was ultimately salvaged in a less hazardous way.[1]

He died aged 38 in 1979 in a PBY Catalina flying boat crash in the Tagus river near Lisbon. The aircraft nosed over during a high speed taxi run undertaken to check the hull for leakage following a water landing.[2]

His children Alexandra Cousteau and Philippe Cousteau, Jr. continue the family work in oceanography as the Co-Founders of EarthEcho International.

Legacy[edit]

The Philippe Cousteau Anchor Museum in Asturias, Spain, honors the oceanographer.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Craven, John Piña (2001). The Silent War: The Cold War Battle Beneath the Sea, New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-87213-7.
  2. ^ Aviation Safety Network. "ASN Aircraft accident Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina N101CS Alverca". Retrieved 2010-07-18. 

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