The grandson of legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau has escaped the "Jaws" of death.
Fabien Cousteau almost lost his life when he set out for a close encounter with great white sharks off the coast of Mexico.
But it wasn't one of the monsters from the deep that nearly killed him.
It was a wonky shark-shaped submarine he constructed to glide among the huge creatures in safety.
Fabien said: "I decided to build a sub that looked, moved and was exactly like a great white - and, of course, I got to be the pilot." But plans went pear-shaped when he sank to the bottom.
Fabien added: "It started plummeting to the bottom - it crashed and I was pinned there and communications weren't working."
His sister Celine was part of a team of divers in a boat above the sub who were eventually able to free him and pull him to safety.
Celine said: "You imagine the worst. As his sister, I was extremely worried, as there was an edge he could have plummeted over - he would have been too deep to rescue."
The shark sub, which sank off Isla Guadalupe, was being used as part of a TV documentary.
Shark: Mind Of A Demon, with Fabien Cousteau, is first set to be shown in the US on Wednesday.
Fabien said the one-hour special was made to dispel the image of sharks as violent.
He said: "White sharks have been given a bad rap for many years but we don't know anything about them.
"When I saw my first, I was ready to be torn to be pieces."
He certainly didn't expect to end up with that sinking feeling.
June 24, 2006
The Daily Record