Prince unveils Albert Falco tribute reef

Albert Falco dedicated his life to the sea alongside his friend and mentor, Jacques Cousteau. Now he is being honoured by the creation an artificial reef in his name deep in the waters of the Larvotto reserve off Monaco’s coast.

Nearly a decade after his death, Albert Falco, the world’s first oceanaut and second Commander to Jacques Cousteau, is being remembered as a champion of ocean conservation with a commemorative plaque and a manmade scuba diving reef named in his honour.

Prince Albert II presided over the ceremony on 27th October along with Falco’s widow, Maryvonne Falco, Minister of State Pierre Dartout, Minister of Equipment, the Environment and Town Planning Céline Caron-Dagioni, and several key players in the project.

The reef, composed of seven modules assembled together, reaches three metres in height and length, and weighs upward of 10 tonnes. It was designed by Pierre Frolla in conjunction with the Environmental Department and 3D printing company Xtree. Installation, 18 metres below the sea in the Larvotto Reserve, was carried out by underwater construction specialists Prodive.

The reef contains several large cavities of varying size and shape, including a cave of roughly one metre by 60 centimetres wide to provide a fitting place for fish, crustaceans, moray eels and octopi to inhabit.

The memorial plaque was unveiled on the south dyke of the Larvotto Bathing Complex.

Falco is best remembered for his work with the famous Jacques Cousteau, but he was also a scuba diving veteran and a huge proponent of marine preservation and protection. He played leading roles in several Cousteau films such as 1956’s The Silent World, 1964’s World without Sun, and the 1976 film Voyage to the End of the World. He was also an author who wrote the non-fiction tome, Capitaine de La Calypso.