Cousteau Grandson to Live Underwater for a Month

Intends to make documentary, study coral reef

Jun 4, 2014
Outside Magazine

The Aquarius Reef Base off the coast of the Florida Keys, where Fabien Cousteau will live for 31 days, has been around for 25 years and is now in danger of funding cuts.    NOAA's National Ocean Service/Flickr

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.

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.