For hundreds of thousands of divers and underwater specialists throughout the world the name Hans Hass is synonymous with everything that takes places under the ocean waves. Hans Hass is the godfather of underwater cinematography and with his photos and films he showed the wonders of the sea to the people above – long before Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
The Viennese zoologist celebrated his 90th birthday on 23. January 2009. Hass was always curious and invariably did the things that others couldn’t or wouldn’t do, as he says himself. In 2007, aged 88, he travelled to the Red Sea with his wife Lotte and a group of friends for a last diving expedition, despite his advanced age. He returned to the spot where he became the first person to enter the sea with a diving mask in the late 1940s. Erich Pröll captured Hass’ final return to the sea with the camera, and Manfred Christ directed the 50 minutes film.