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Mission 31 - Fabien Cousteau breaks an ancestral record

Fabien, grandson of the famous Jaques Cousteau, has returned to the surface after 31 days under water. He has thus beaten the underwater record set by his grandfather by 1 day. The whole project took place in the hospitable surroundings of Aquarius Reef Base in Florida. During the project, code-named Mission 31, Fabien Cousteau and
Published: July 7, 2014 - 15:15
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 07:59
Mission 31 – Fabien Cousteau breaks an ancestral record

Fabien, grandson of the famous Jaques Cousteau, has returned to the surface after 31 days under water. He has thus beaten the underwater record set by his grandfather by 1 day. The whole project took place in the hospitable surroundings of Aquarius Reef Base in Florida.

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During the project, code-named Mission 31, Fabien Cousteau and his companions were confined to the Aquarius Reef base, which is located at a depth of about 20m. Throughout the mission, Fabien was accompanied by Mark Hulsbeck and Ryan LaPete

The adventure, which lasted 31 days, allowed to set a new record in the amount of time spent under water. The previous record was set by (indeed!) Jaques Cousteau, the famous traveller and explorer of the deep sea, who spent 30 days on the ocean floor.

The underwater Aquarius Reef Base, located near Key Largo in Florida and managed by employees of Florida International University, was chosen as the site for the record. Weighing 81 tonnes, the structure is devoid of luxury. However, it offers its guests 6 bunk beds, hot water, a mini kitchen, air conditioning and computer stations.

The aim of the mission, apart from breaking the record itself, was to spend as many hours as possible outside the base, diving and conducting research and looking at the marine environment. At this point, it is certainly worth noting that Fabien Cousteau did not see sunlight for 31 days.

According to the newly-minted record holder, the material collected during his stay on the ocean floor will translate into at least 10 scientific papers. In addition, scientists from FIU describe this feat as a “gift of time”. Thanks to the conditions surrounding the record, it was possible to collect material in 31 days that would otherwise take six months to collect!

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Małgorzata Brykała
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