*File photo
*File photo

Legendary shipwreck and treasure diver Teddy Tucker passed away yesterday at the age of 89.

Mr Tucker famously found the treasure ship, the San Pedro, on which was the priceless gold and emerald Tucker Cross.

He was a founding member of the world famous Beebe Project in 1983 which has been instrumental in discovering new deep-sea animals with submersibles and underwater cameras. Along with Mendel Peterson of the Smithsonian Institution and others in the Department of Armed Forces, he developed the grid system for surveying ship wrecks. He also taught marine archaeology at the University of Maryland and co-founded the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute supplying much of the marine based exhibits.

Mr Tucker worked for various prestigious publications including National Geographic and Life magazines.

In 1991, he was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Underwater Society of America and the Queen awarded him the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Medal in 1994.

A spokeswoman from BUEI told the Bermuda Sun: “We are all very sad to hear of Teddy’s passing he was a friend to many of us. BUEI would not exist if it wasn’t for Teddy’s inspiration and we send our deepest condolences to his family.”

For Immediate Release

Statement by Premier Michael Dunkley

On behalf of the Government of Bermuda, I send our condolences to the family of Mr. Teddy Tucker, MBE, one of the great Bermudians of our time.

Teddy, as he was known to everyone, was a Bermudian original whose adventurous life and profound knowledge of the waters around Bermuda brought worldwide attention to the Island for more than six decades.

Mr. Tucker’s accomplishments were almost incredible in their breadth. He was a sailor, diver, explorer, treasure hunter, lecturer, archaeologist, historian and author. He was also an extraordinarily successful promoter of Bermuda’s history, culture and character, inspiring  Hollywood films, best-selling novels and articles in major magazines from National Geographic to Life.

Mr. Tucker’s amazing knowledge of Bermuda’s waters began with his first jobs as a boy aboard local fishing boats and never stopped. He inspired writers and scientists, school children and students. He was always approachable and ready to work with the curious, imparting his first-hand knowledge with simplicity, precision and enthusiasm.

Teddy Tucker enriched the life of Bermuda and brought the most positive worldwide attention to the Island. He made us proud to be Bermudian. May he rest in peace.