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Cousteau grandson to live underwater for a month

Filmmaker Fabien Cousteau, the 47-year-old ocean enthusiast and grandson of Jacques Cousteau, is gearing up for his most immersive experience yet: spending a month living and working underwater.


The Aquarius Reef Base off the coast of the Florida Keys has been around for 25 years. Credit: NOAA’s National Ocean Service/Flickr

He’s calling the endeavor Mission 31, reflecting the number of days he’ll spend at pressure in the Aquarius Reef Base off the coast of the Florida Keys. That’s one day more than Jacques Cousteau spent in a similar Red Sea facility in 1963—which would be a record for longest time spent underwater by a film crew. Fabien says Mission 31 will be a tribute to his grandfather and will raise funds for the Aquarius Reef Base, as federal spending cuts have put the facility in danger.

Fabien and a five-person crew plan to use the school bus–sized laboratory, located 60 feet underwater, to its fullest. They’ll make a documentary and undertake science experiments at a nearby coral reef, all the while broadcasting a livestream of the lab for us landlubbers to enjoy.

The team officially began their underwater stay on June 1, and aside from a minor air-conditioning incident, all seems to be going swimmingly. Stay tuned: We’ll be posting photos from the mission as it happens.