“I did my first dive on my fourth birthday,” says Fabien Cousteau, third-generation oceanographer. “My father found me at the bottom of the pool, sharing an oxygen tank with a family friend, buddy-breathing.” In the wake of his famous grandfather, Jacques Cousteau, and father, Jean-Michel, Fabien has dedicated his life to the exploration of ocean life. He joined them both on expeditions during every school holiday.
Fabien Cousteau studied environmental economics and briefly worked for a manufacturer of green products in the US, where he lives. But the pull of the ocean proved stronger. He now combines his diving experience and his passion for technology to design and execute his own audacious experiments. The latest is a shark-shaped submarine that allows Cousteau to swim with Great Whites. Cousteau has walked around with this idea since the age of seven, when he read the famous Tintin story Red Rackham’s Treasure, in which the intrepid cartoon character goes underwater in a shark-shaped sub.
This dream has now come true, with the help of the renowned Hollywood engineer Eddie Paul. Cousteau’s submarine “Troy” is almost an exact replica of a Great White. It has space for one man in full scuba gear, who moves the shark’s tail using two joysticks.
“The sub is an observation platform that lets me swim along at shark speed,” says Cousteau. “The whole point is to fool them into thinking I’m a shark.”
The first dives have proven that sharks can be fooled. Swimming alongside these ferocious beasts, Cousteau has gathered magnificent footage for a first TV documentary he is preparing.
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