The shark whisperer – Scuba pioneer shares his experiences at Rookery Bay ELC

Posted: 07/29/2011 in all marine news

By Lance Shearer – 

Stan Waterman is a living legend in the field of scuba and shark filming, a field in which the “living” part – staying alive – is a big part of the challenge. For him, “swimming with the sharks” was never just a metaphor.

Looking piratical in a black eye patch, the 88-year-old spoke Wednesday evening to a group of about 65 in the Environmental Learning Center at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve headquarters off Collier Boulevard, as part of Rookery Bay’s Summer of Sharks.

Waterman has spent most of his life filming and documenting the world’s sharks. He opened a dive business in the Bahamas in 1954, and served as an underwater cameraman and co-producer for “Blue Water, White Death,” the 1971 film that was the first glimpse for many people into the world of sharks.

He worked with his friend Peter Benchley on “The Deep,” along with 10 years of productions for ABC-TV and the “Expedition Earth” series on ESPN. Waterman won five Emmy awards for his work, and was the subject of a Discovery Channel biographical special, “The Man Who Loves Sharks.”

Actually, Waterman told his audience, that title wasn’t exactly correct. He doesn’t love sharks, he said, but he certainly respects them, and is grateful to them. “Sharks put my kids through college,” he said.

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