Underwater pioneer Teddy Tucker dies, aged 89

World renowned shipwreck diver Teddy Tucker has died at the age of 89.

Sources close to the family told The Royal Gazette that Mr Tucker passed away yesterday afternoon in Somerset, although the cause of death is not yet known.

Born on May 8, 1925, Edward Bolton Tucker began diving on shipwrecks locally and internationally in the late 1940s.

In 1957, he and Mendel L Peterson, of the Smithsonian Institution, with other staff members from the Department of Armed Forces History, developed the grid system for surveying wreck sites.

Mr Tucker discovered the six-gill shark in Bermuda waters in the 1970s and was a founding member of the Beebe Project in 1983 — a now worldwide scheme which discovers and studies deep-sea animals using submersibles and specially-designed cameras.

He found more than 100 shipwrecks around Bermuda, including the treasure ship San Pedro, which contained the famous gold and emerald “Tucker Cross”.

Mr Tucker was a historian, artist and lecturer and featured in many films and books, including ‘The Deep’.

Peter Benchley, author of ‘The Deep’, once said of Mr Tucker: “Teddy has brought the world to Bermuda and Bermuda to the world.”

Mr Tucker was a member of the Explorers Club, as well as a Charter Member of the Hellenic Institute of Marine Archaeology (Greece) and in 1991 was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Underwater Society of America.

He was a founding member of the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute (BUEI) and was awarded the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire medal in 1994 by the Queen.

In 2000, the New York Explorers’ Club awarded Mr Tucker with the Lowell Thomas Award.

A BUEI spokeswoman said this morning: “We are obviously shocked and sad, along with everyone else, but very respectful of the family. He influenced many lives here and around the world. BUEI would not exist without Teddy. We’ll miss him and our hearts go out to his family.”

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Published Jun 10, 2014 at 9:58 am (Updated Jun 10, 2014 at 9:58 am)

Underwater pioneer Teddy Tucker dies, aged 89

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