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April 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 4   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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What’s to Become of Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso?

from the April, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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It was the ship that launched a thousand childhood dreams. The Calpyso, with Captain Jacques Cousteau at the wheel, took generations of would-be explorers across the oceans to discover the marvels of the "silent world," as he called it. Now, nearly 20 years after it sank following a collision with a barge in Singapore one year before Cousteau's death, squabbles between the ocean explorer's family and a Brittany boatyard threaten to the ship for good.

In December, after a long legal battle, a French court gave Cousteau's second wife, Francine, a deadline of March 15 to remove the Calypso from its dry dock. She also had to settle a $405,000 bill for renovations or face having the 140-foot- vessel auctioned off. Pascal Piriou, head of the shipyard in Finistčre, said that, after years of bitter disagreements with Francine Cousteau, he wanted to be rid of the Calypso and would seek a legal order allowing him to sell the historic ship. He told the French media, "I think we could find some rich people who might come up with the money. There's an enormous amount of work to be done (on it), but it's doable."...


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