Mike deGruy

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Mike deGruy
Mike deGruy.jpg
Born(1951-12-29)December 29, 1951
Mobile, Alabama, United States
DiedFebruary 4, 2012(2012-02-04) (aged 60)
Known forunderwater cinematography
Scientific career
FieldsUnderwater Cinematography, TED Speaker

Mike deGruy (December 29, 1951 – February 4, 2012) was an American documentary filmmaker specialising in underwater cinematography. His credits include Life in the Freezer, Trials of Life, The Blue Planet and Pacific Abyss. He was also known for his storytelling, including a passionate TED talk about his love of the ocean on the Mission Blue Voyage.[2] His company, Film Crew Inc., specialized in underwater cinematography, filming for BBC, PBS, National Geographic, and The Discovery Channel. His notable accomplishments include diving beneath thermal vents in both the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. He was a member of many deep sea expeditions and was a part of the team that first filmed the vampire squid and the nautilus.[3]

Mike deGruy was attacked on April 2, 1978 by a grey reef shark. He was severely bitten on his lower right forearm.[4] The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 impacted him and began his shift to environmental activism.[5] He was also part of the Deepsea Challenge, where James Cameron went to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. In 2016, production began on a feature-film documentary about his life and work titled Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy.[6] The documentary was released in 2020.[7]


In 2012, deGruy died in a helicopter crash[8] at Jaspers Brush near the town of Berry in New South Wales, Australia. The crash also claimed the life of Australian filmmaker Andrew Wight.[9][10] Marine biologist Edith Widder dedicated her 2013 TED talk detailing the first filming of the giant squid to his memory.[11]


  1. ^ Macfadyen, William M. (February 4, 2012). "Santa Barbara Filmmaker Mike deGruy Killed in Australia Helicopter Crash". Noozhawk. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  2. ^ Mike deGruy. "Hooked by an octopus".
  3. ^ "Mike deGruy | Speaker | TED".
  4. ^ "Mike deGruy: 1951-2012". Santa Barbara Independent. February 15, 2012.
  5. ^ "Support the Mike deGruy Documentary". Santa Barbara Independent. November 10, 2016. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  6. ^ "Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy". divingdeepmovie.com. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  7. ^ Shelton, Heather (January 5, 2020). "'Diving Deep' debuts: HSU journalism grad is now a documentary filmmaker". Times-Standard. Retrieved July 18, 2021.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ Aviation safety investigations & reports - Collision with terrain - Robinson R44, VH-COK, Jaspers Brush, NSW, 4 February 2012 Australian Transport Safety Bureau
  9. ^ Celebrated Filmmakers Killed in Australian Helicopter Crash National Geographic, February 5, 2012
  10. ^ Top filmmakers Mike deGruy and Andrew Wight have died in a NSW chopper crash The Australian, February 5, 2012
  11. ^ TED Talk 2013 - Edith Widder: How we found the giant squid on YouTube

Further reading[edit]

Interview in *Gilliam, Bret C (2007). Diving Pioneers and Innovators. New World Publications. ISBN 1-878348-42-6.

External links[edit]