The famous diver, Albert Falco died in his hometown on the 21st April of this year.
Falco was born in October 1927 in Marseilles. He joined Captain Cousteau’s team of divers in 1952, at the age of twenty-five, right before the renovation of the Calypso. This young but already experienced man would eventually become the leader of the divers and the boat’s captain. Falco, nicknamed Bébert by his friends took part in the discovery of the underwater world – almost completely unknown at the time – since the very first missions of the Calypso’s Group Cousteau.
The grand public got to know him with the film titled “The world of silence”, winner of the Palme d’Or of the 1956 Cannes Film Festival. The fact that he was chosen to participate in one of the first underwater house experiments, the Précontinent I in 1962 shows evidence of his extraordinary diving knowledge and his experience. Falco spent one week at the depth of 10 metres with another diver, Claude Wesly in a cylindrical, 5,2 meters high underwater house, the Diogenes in the Mediterranean Sea, close to Marseilles.
During his thirtyeight years of service, he went all the way around the Earth so it would be impossible to make a list of all the exact places he’d visited, all the missions he accomplished, all the underwater researches he took part in until 1990, the end of his active diving career on the board of the Calypso. Even afterwards, Falco never hung up his fins; his loyalty to the sea and to diving never stopped. Following his “retirement” he became the captain of a small boat and he as-sisted several nature-conservation themed film shoots. He made considerable efforts in order to protect the underwater world of the Calanque de Sormious region – the starting point of his diving career – close to Marseille, as well as trying to make it into a preserved area. These last years he helped out with the work of the Ocean Futures Society Team, created by Jean-Michel Cousteau and the Sea Shepherd as a member of their boards of directors.
He continued to dive even during the last years of his life: he commuted between Marseille and Martinique in the Antilles, his two favourite diving spots. In the video made as a tribute to his memory shows Falco and his friends diving from a small boat he navigated last summer – any young diver can envy his backward roll dive – and the camera keeps rolling underwater… Falco died in his home in Marseilles at the age of 84… May he rest in peace and let the eternal light shine for him forever!