This season, it’s all about being grateful. Here are four underwater icons that made the diving world what it is today.
Father of Scuba Diving: Jacques Cousteau
Often referred to as the “father of scuba diving,” the name Jacques Cousteau is recognized worldwide as the man that brought scuba diving into the homes of people all over the globe. Through his work, the French explorer, filmmaker, scientist and author dedicated his life to diving.
From assisting in inventing the modern-day regulator to creating his famous underwater documentaries, and stressing the importance of conservation and protecting marine life, Cousteau made it his mission to share his love of the ocean with the world.
“When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.” – Jaqcues Cousteau
Gear Guru: Emilie Gagnan
As Cousteau’s right hand man, Emilie Gagnan, a French engineer and co-inventor of the Aqua-Lung regulator, worked with Cousteau to create a rebreathing apparatus that made diving accessible to the public. It’s that model that is the base of today’s most popular ways divers are able to breathe effortlessly underwater.
After the success of the regulator, Gagnan went on to work for Canadian Liquid Air Ltd. where he built and created prototypes of dive equipment that we still use today.
PADI Founding Fathers: John Cronin and Ralph Erickson
When John Cronin, a scuba equipment salesman, and Ralph Erickson, a swimming instructor, were expressing their concerns about the dive industry over a bottle of Johnny Walker, they decided to do something about it.
In 1966, PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, was developed as an organization that would positively, and efficiently, educate skilled divers and dive instructors. To date, PADI has grown into a dive community made up of millions of divers, dive professionals, and more than 6,000 PADI Dive Shops and Resorts around the world.
What started as a dream in the eyes of these four men has become the foundation of today’s dive community, and we couldn’t be more thankful.