On Tuesday 12th September 2017 at 2:30 am, a fire damaged the legendary Calypso, within the shipyard in Turkey where her refitting has been in progress since 2016.

A police investigation is currently underway to determine the origin of the fire. Thankfully the fire has not caused any human casualties and the extent of the damage is still being evaluated.

It appears that only the newly fitted wooden parts of the ship have been affected, not the original structure. All of the vessel’s historical elements are intact.

The fire occurred at a pivotal time when the wooden planking of the hull had just been finished, after months of passionate and meticulous work by the carpenters.

 

Captain Patrice Quesnel on the Calypso, on September 1st, before incident.  © Cousteau Society

The fire occurred at a pivotal time when the wooden planking of the hull had just been finished, after months of passionate and meticulous work by the carpenters.

This incident will cause delays to the renovation of Calypso, a global symbol of environmental protection, but will not derail the refitting process.

 

“This situation reinforces my determination to carry out Captain Cousteau’s wish for Calypso to sail again.” said Francine Cousteau, president of the Cousteau Society. “I have been fighting for over 20 years to protect the legacy that the Captain has passed on to the Cousteau Society. It is a passionate and complex mission, which I won’t abandon, no matter the obstacles along the way. For Calypso, we have an excellent shipyard with dedicated project managers and exceptionally motivated carpenters, who have all been working with love and skill. For them, and for all of those who share the hope of seeing this ship rebuilt, I want to succeed.”

 

The back of the vessel after the incident. © Cousteau Society

“Calypso has inspired millions of people to love the Ocean. She is a symbol of environmental protection. Today more than ever, we need her to continue this mission.” Pierre-Yves Cousteau, youngest son of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau.

 

Refitting work will continue on Calypso