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Philippe Rousseau

Archaeological Diver


Born in 1956, France


Philippe Rousseau was in charge of an electronics and precision engineering production unit, near Paris when in 1984 he decided to turn his passion for scuba diving into a full time job.
At first a state instructor for diving clubs, he instructed recreational divers and gained experience particularly working with children. He became a PADI Instructor then graduated with INPP and became a professional diver. He began to work on different assignments on underwater construction sites at sea or in rivers, some of them in quite tough conditions. Rich with these experiences, he was able to join Franck's archaeological expeditions in 1992 on the excavation of the San Diego.

"For nearly four months," says Rousseau, "we cleared with water dredges, the tumulus of the galleon divided in squares through a grid, in two dives of 30 to 40 minutes a day. Our team, twenty divers in all, took turns day and night on the wreck. The work was difficult, but very professional and brought personal satisfaction of daily discoveries. Imagine for instance, a big plate of porcelain from the 16th century completely intact! We methodically arranged the artefacts in baskets that were hoisted on the deck of our big support ship. Little by little she resembled a small museum! When the remains of the San Diego and the research that had been done on the material we excavated were presented to the public in an exhibition in Paris in 1994,  I felt very proud"

When Philippe is not participating in Franck’s archaeological expeditions around the world he instructs "palanquées", groups of recreational divers for which he founded a diving school in Le Mesnil Saint Denis, where he lives, called Adis Plongée.