Jacques Cousteau’s Ship, the Calypso is to be relaunched as a “touring educational exhibition” to mark the centennial birth of the marine explorer. The Calypso was damaged badly is 1996 by a barge which was accidentally rammed into it in Singapore. The vessel is currently undergoing repair and the Cousteau Society say it will become a “touring educational exhibition.”
The ship originally, was a British minesweeper, but in 1950 it was adapted into a “mobile oceanography laboratory.” It was bought by former MP and Irish millionaire Thomas Loel Gunness, a descendent of the founder of the Guinness brewery who adapted it to Mr Cousteau’s specifications and then leased it to him for one franc a year. Jaques Cousteau, a formal naval officer turned explorer managed to catch some of the first glimpses of life in the deep seas on board the vessel. This was with aid of Calypso’s “false nose” which Jaques and his crew used as an underwater observation chamber. Captain Costeau is now known for bringing the life of the ocean to our attention with his films, books and TV series. Jaques and French engineer Emile Gagnan, got together in 1943 and developed the aqualung, the breathing equipment that first supplied oxygen to divers, allowing them to stay submerged for several hours.
Jaques died in 1997. His Cousteau Society plans to mark the centennial of his birth by a year-long celebration. The celebration will include a new filming expedition in the Med which will highlight the changes their since the Captain made one of his first films their during the 1940s. Jaques youngest son, Pierre-Yves Cousteau said “If my father were alive today he would be gratified by the creation of marine protected areas in many countries and by the growing community of scientists working to advance the understanding and conservation of ocean biodiversity.” “However, I know he would be distressed also, by the ongoing pillage of oceans by industrialised fisheries and by the catastrophes that stem from exploiting off-shore oil resources” he added.