February 5, 2012

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NSW South Coast
Australia
Two talented filmmakers and ocean advocates, Mike deGruy and Andrew Wight, have lost their lives in a helicopter crash in Australia.  Underwater cinematographer and story teller Mike deGruy had close ties to the Mission Blue family and spoke eloquently on behalf of the ocean during the first Mission Blue Voyage in 2010.  Mike will be remembered for his dedication to the ocean by those whose lives he touched through his films as well as by those who were lucky enough to know him personally.

With Mike, and piloting the craft was Australian writer-producer Andrew Wight. The helicopter crashed on takeoff near the NSW South Coast.  David Bennett, president of the South Coast Recreational Flying Club, said that the two men had left to film a documentary at Jervis Bay. The ocean community, in fact the ocean herself has lost two great champions.

TED has set up a Memorial page,  TED blog – Remembering Mike deGruy where you may read more about Mike and follow links to more information about his life.

Mike’s 2010 TED Talk from onboard the first Mission Blue Voyage to the Galapagos (below) embodies the kind of unbridled curiosity and infectious enthusiasm with which Mike inspired many to explore the ocean for themselves. And for those who don’t take the plunge, Mike created films that were truly a window into the underwater world.

Mike’s contribution to educating the worldwide public about ocean issues was profound. As Dr. Earle often says, “If you don’t know, you can’t care.” During his 30 year career, Mike brought the ocean into our living rooms so that we could learn to care, and he did a strikingly good job of it.  We send our sincere condolences to Mike’s friends and family. He will be missed.

In this video from the Mission Blue Voyage, Mike takes us from his childhood growing up on the Gulf of Mexico and the Delta to exploring deep sea ocean volcanoes. Rest in peace, and thank you for everything, Mike.

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