Hans Hass Fifty Fathoms Award

Franch marine biologist and underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta recieved the 2013 Hans Hass Fifty Fathoms Award at the Boot trade show in DĂĽsseldorf last week.


Austrian ocean explorer pioneer Hans Hass.


Posted on Jan 30, 2013
Laurent Ballesta recieved the award for his remarkable achievements in deep sea diving expeditions and unique photographs from the depths of the oceans.

» Andromede Ocean project

Among his greatest work are the photographs of the rare, living fossile known as the coelacanth which he photographed in the wild off the coast of South Africa in 2010.

Unique images

During 21 dives to between 300 and 400 feet with a total of 95 hours below the surface the dive team only spotted coelacanths six times, National Geographic writes about this rare photographic account:

» See images: Ancient swimmers

The coelacanth was thought to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs, but was rediscovered in 1938. The stange fish is only found in a very few locations in the world.

Award ceremony

The award was presented to Laurent Ballesta during a private dinner at Ashley's Garden in DĂĽsseldorf on Wednesday, January 24 - one day after the 94th birthday of the Austrian diving and underwater photography pioneer Hans Hass.

» Click to read more about Hans Hass

A very pleased Laurent Ballesta with the award presented to him by the board members of the Hans Hass Foundation at the main stage at the Boot trade show. Photo: Blancpain

The event was sponsored by Swiss watch manufacturer Blancpain, who supports the Hans Hass Foundation in their quest to honour remarkable underwater achievements.

Driven by its own pioneer spirit since its foundation in 1735, Blancpain’s historical connection with diving goes back to 1953, when they manufactured a diver’s timepiece for the French navy: The Fifty Fathoms.

I was invited to the exclusive event by Dietmar Fuchs from Media2Dive, who work for Blancpain publishing Fifthy Fathoms magazine and other publications.

» Blancpain Hans Hass Fifty Fathoms Award press release








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