But they will be able to talk on video with Fabien Cousteau while the undersea explorer, Jacques Cousteau’s grandson, attempts to live underwater for a month.
Cousteau had been booked to appear in person at the conference, but instead he now plans to spend a month living underwater, starting Nov. 12, at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
After some thought, conference organizers decided to regard Cousteau’s change in plans as an opportunity to participate via video in a historic event, rather than regarding it as a breach of contract, said attorney Ronald R. Smith of Bellevue, a diver and one of the conference organizers.
“While he’s on the screen, he’s making history at the same time,” Smith said.
The symposium also has booked a number of experts who will be appearing in person on dry land, including David Trotter, billed as the best-known shipwreck hunter on the Great Lakes.
Georgann and Mike Wachter, a husband and wife team, also will speak. The couple has written three books on local shipwrecks, including one that focuses on western Lake Erie.
“We are shipwreck hunters, and we have found 30 shipwrecks,” Georgann Wachter said.
More information on the couple’s books is at eriewrecks.com .
Smith said the symposium is being presented by Bay Area Divers Inc., which was launched in Bellevue and has about 75 members from all along the north coast.
An enthusiastic shipwreck diver, Smith said that Great Lakes shipwrecks are known to be wellpreserved because the lakes’ cold water keeps even wooden timbers intact.
“It’s like a time capsule sitting there,” he said.