Sea Pioneer- Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau AC

Born in France on June 11, 1910,  Jacques Cousteau became a gunnery Officer in WW2, but a serious car accident ended his naval aviation career. It was during his rehabilitation in the ocean, that a friend offered him a pair of goggles that brought the revelation of the undersea world. Seeking to stay underwater longer, he developed with Emile Gagnan, the first Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, or SCUBA that lead the way for many to explore under the sea for generations to come.

Jacques Cousteau pioneered the first oceanographic vessel leading to many explorations and areas of scientific research. He launched the “Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” opening the oceans to millions of households around the world and started our fascination with and love of the sea. It was because of him, that many divers around the world explore the sea with the same love and fascination.

It was Jacques Cousteau who first made the distress call about our oceans, and left his mark forever on the planet and the oceans. When Cousteau and his teams embarked aboard Calypso to explore the world, no one yet knew about the effects of pollution, over-exploitation of resources and coastal development. The films of Calypso’s adventures drew the public’s attention to the potentially disastrous environmental consequences of human negligence. Cousteau, through his life and his work, was a major player in the environmental movement.

Jacques Cousteau died unexpectedly in Paris on June 25, 1997, leaving a legacy that includes more than 120 television documentaries and 50 books. The Cousteau Society, which he founded, has over 300,000 members today. Their goal is to help protect the oceans from the dangers of human activity. This knowledge also provided the development of Scuba Diving  for over 6 million people around the world.

Article contributed by Mary Winter

By the way – the AC after his name signifies he is a recipient of “The Order of Australia” , an order of chivalry established on 14 February 1975 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, to recognize Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or meritorious service. Before the establishment of the order, Australian citizens received British honours.

You can learn more about Cousteau at this website