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Monday, 24 June 2013

I am Legend

As was just pointed out to me by James in the Scuba Diving community forum, Hans Haas passed away on the 13th June 2013, less than two weeks ago. I'm shocked and disappointed in how little press coverage was given to the passing of Hans as he was truly one of the great explorers and pioneers of the underwater world. 

With many credits to his name, not least the co-creation of the Drager Model 138 rebreather, he was always exploring, discovering and expanding our knowledge of life beneath the sea.

To some people he was controversial, to others a man of wisdom, to everyone he was aspirational, someone we all wanted to be when we grew up. He shall be sorely missed.

The classic Hans and Lotte photo that everyone remembers
Hans Hass was a pioneer underwater photographer, filmmaker and scientist, studying for his Doctorate in marine biology at the zoological station in Naples. In 1949 Hans visited Port Sudan, where he dived alone, having been told by all the experts that he would surely be eaten by the famous Red Sea sharks. By 1950 he returned with another team of six, including Lotte. Together they made the film “Adventure in the Red Sea”, or “Under the Red Sea” as it later became known. The film won first prize for major documentaries at the Venice Bienniele film festival in 1951.

Hass has published many books, including “Aus der Pionierzeit des Tauchens’’ (“From The Pioneering Days Of Diving”), and has made more than 100 films about the underwater world. Among many awards they have won, are those from the Historical Diving Society.