Fabien Cousteau ends mission at undersea lab

Fabien Cousteau attends the Digital Life Design (DLD) conference on January 26, 2009 in Munich, Germany. (File) (Sean Gallup, Getty Images)
Fabien Cousteau returned to land Wednesday after 31 days under water. (Sean Gallup, Getty Images)
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Updated: 7/02 12:23 pm

ISLAMORADA, Fla. (AP) — After 31 days undersea, Fabien Cousteau is back on dry land.

He stepped off a boat in Florida today wearing flip-flops and a beach towel wrapped around his waist, saying he was torn about leaving his underwater home, but he missed his family and friends.

Cousteau and his team of filmmakers and scientists dove June 1 to Aquarius to study the effects of climate change and pollution on a nearby coral reef.

The crew started decompression yesterday afternoon inside Aquarius Reef Base, 63 feet below the ocean's surface off Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

Because they've spent so much time underwater, Cousteau and his "Mission 31" crew needed to undergo roughly 16 hours of decompression inside the school bus-sized lab so that they could return to the surface without suffering the bends.

They're returning to the Aquarius command center in Islamorada today.


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