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Fabien Cousteau Takes Plunge To Beat Grandfather's Underwater Record 84

An anonymous reader writes Fabien Cousteau, grandson of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, plans to spend 31 days underwater off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. He has already spent 3 weeks in an underwater laboratory called the Aquarius, and hopes to break his grandfather's record of 30 days in an undersea habitat. "There are a lot of challenges physically and psychologically," said Cousteau, 46, who grew up on his grandfather's ships, Calypso and Alcyone. Cousteau added: "We'll be able to do Twitter chats, we'll be able to do Skype sessions, we'll be able to do Facebook posts and Instagram posts and all these things that we take for granted on land, but up until now it was impossible to do from down below."
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Fabien Cousteau Takes Plunge To Beat Grandfather's Underwater Record

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  • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Monday June 23, 2014 @02:56PM (#47299643)

    Ballistic missile submarines regularly spend 80+ days underwater, even during peacetime. How is 30 days a record?

  • I don't get it. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Major Blud ( 789630 ) on Monday June 23, 2014 @03:02PM (#47299683) Homepage

    At first I read the headline and thought "oh, he's going to be underwater using scuba gear for 31 days, awesome", but after reading the article he's going to spend 31 days in an "undersea lab". That's supposed to be a record of some type? Don't sailors in both the U.S. and Russian Navy spend many months at a time submerged in nuclear subs? If it is a record, it states that his grandfather holds it at 30 days....but fails to mention that Scott Carpenter spent that same amount of time in SEALAB II. So which is it?

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday June 23, 2014 @03:15PM (#47299787) Homepage

    Why ever for? He's advocating for finding ways to do it better. You think he should hobble himself with the best of 1970s technology?

    Look, this is a PR stunt, and a press release designed to drive awareness to him. Let's not suddenly start acting like he needs to recreate the exact same conditions to be able to say he stayed down longer than his very famous grandfather.

    You have to remember what this is before you start arguing the semantics of it. Because there's not a lot of point or value in doing that once you remember that this is mostly a stunt, with some actual attempts to do some research.

    At the end of the day, he's saying "I will do this longer than my grandfather did, but with newer technology -- and if people didn't mention my grandfather, nobody would even cover this". Because he's nowhere near as famous as his grandfather was in his day.

    This is as much about awareness (and probably fund raising) as it is the specifics of the 'record'.

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday June 23, 2014 @03:30PM (#47299887) Homepage

    Say you have a very famous grandfather.

    Now say you've gone into the 'family business', but you're not nearly as famous as he is.

    Now say you'd like some publicity.

    Do you:

    • a) mope that nobody ever pays attention to anything you do
    • b) name drop the hell out of your grandfather so people will at least tune in

    In the 70s damned near everybody knew who Jacques Cousteau was. The kids born recently likely have no idea.

    But if you can get the press to invoke your famous grandfather to get you a little PR for your stuff ... well, such is modern life.

    He's media whoring because he has his grandfather's name.

  • All for money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Monday June 23, 2014 @03:40PM (#47299951) Journal

    What everyone else gets - money. He/they need funding to continue their lifestyle^wresearch. From wikipedia:

    "Due to budget cuts, NOAA ceased funding Aquarius after September 2012, with no further missions scheduled after a July 2012 mission that included pioneering female diver Sylvia Earle in its aquanaut crew. The University of North Carolina Wilmington was also unable to provide funding to continue operations. The Aquarius Foundation was set up in an attempt to keep Aquarius functioning."

    Foundations don't run on cool research, they run on dollars. Dollars requires interest, and interest comes from PR/marketing. Hence the stunt.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson