Diving in a Fake Shark Submersible

Deep beneath the waves a weird fish has swallowed the grandson of the late Captain Jacques Cousteau, the ocean explorer. Fabien Cousteau, 36, is these days to be found inside the belly of a submersible built in the shape of a great white shark. Matthew Campbell wrote for Times on line in the UK. “The whole point,” says Cousteau, “is to fool them into thinking I am a shark.”

“The diver was also mindful of his father, Jean-Michel, who experimented with a remote-controlled shark in 1989. A less-sophisticated device, it failed to pass muster in the shark world and was demolished in a few mouthfuls.

The new mechanical shark — called Troy but nicknamed Sushi by some of Cousteau’s crew — has proved more successful. Real sharks tend to accept the intruder as a dominant female, says Cousteau, even though they may be baffled by some of its features. The mouth can open and close but does not eat. And Troy, unlike real sharks, is odourless and incapable of great bursts of speed.

Sadly, since the elder diver’s death in 1997, the Cousteau Society, run by his widow — his second wife, a former flight attendant — has been plagued by a dwindling membership and legal disputes with other family members over rights to the name.

Such is the bad blood in the family that a spokesman for the Cousteau Society would not even comment on the Troy expedition. The Calypso, meanwhile, remains rusting in the port of La Rochelle in western France.”