MovieChat Forums > Jacques-Yves Cousteau Discussion > This Man Created The Modern Diver

This Man Created The Modern Diver

He created modern oceanography. He deserves a post. He freed divers from a connection to the surface, with his co-invention of the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA gear), based on a compressed air tank and an automobile carburetor, plus inspiration.

And, absent Cousteau, our military would not have SEALS, or, before them, the Navy Underwater Demolition Team (UDT), aka Navy Frogmen—under either nomenclature, the toughest branch of the US military.

Not for nothing, he also wrote the classic treatise on popular oceanography, The Silent World, and created US Divers, the SCUBA company that supplied the US Navy Frogmen and sport divers like myself.


Thank you for that tribute, and I agree Cousteau was a true pioneer/adventurer/hero of the Silent World. That book sits prominently on my shelf, an inspiring combination of scientific adventurism and eloquent poetry. Yes the early creators of SCUBA were too careless and destructive in some cases, but without those early days the undersea world might still be much more of a mystery, and they and other responsible divers have long since learned to be more sensitive to the environment.

My Dad was in the US Army back in the late 50s stationed in France on the Mediterranean coast. His first dives, using gear similar to what you see in "Le Monde Du Silence" documentary, took place off the coast of Juan-les-Pins near the Cap d'Antibes. He went on to a PhD in Marine Biology and a professor of Oceanography in Seattle Washington. Shortly after, the Calypso arrived at the University of Washington waterfront, and I met Jacques-Yves Cousteau when I was five years old. Since then I went on to become a Divemaster and have dived some of the sites originally pioneered by Cousteau and the Calypso team, most memorably the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm in the Red Sea.

My Dad recently passed away, but one of the songs I played as a tribute to him and our hero was "Calypso" by John Denver.


I salute you and your father. I am sorry to hear of your loss, and I thank you very much for your post. I became enamoured of the underwater life because of the Sea Hunt TV series, starring the father of the Bridges brothers, Lloyd Bridges, in the Dark Ages. I was the first sub-teen NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) certified diver in the US, at the age of 12. I was an experiment that opened the doors of sport diving to a wider audience, and I am pleased to be able to say that. I can feel how rightfully proud you are of your father. Thank you so much for your post. I envy you so much for having met Jacques-Yves, the real pioneer! (My name in junior-high French class was Jacques-Yves.) The sea is the mother of us all.