Last updated: December 13, 2017 at 15:55 pm
First person to cross the English Channel on scuba in 1962; first to dive from Sicily to the Italian mainland across the Messina Strait (June 1962); first to dive from the Rock of Gibraltar to Spain (1962); first to dive across the Øresund Strait from Denmark to Sweden (October 1962); first to dive across the Bosphorus Strait to Europe and back to Asia (Turkey) (November 1962). In December 1962, Baldasare was the first to dive across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Africa. He completed the 35 km (22 miles) from Tarifa to Ceuta without surfacing in 8 hours 18 minutes. He was also the first to dive the Laguna del Sol, in the Nevado de Toluca, Mexico, at 4577 m (15,016 ft) altitude in June 1964; former U.S. Army paratrooper; a.k.a. The Human Submarine. Baldasare’s wife, Jane, had made two unsuccessful attempts to dive across the English Channel before his own record dive.
Baldasare, Fred, 91 of Brooksville, FL, passed peacefully at his residence on August 22, 2015. He is survived by his sister, Maxine Miller of Largo, FL, many loving nieces and nephews and special friend and companion “Bambi”. Born in Willisville, Ohio on June 9, 1924, Fred had a most interesting and diverse life. Training as a paratrooper in the US Army served as a spring board for life as a professional boxer and most notably, a SCUBA diver and instructor. He held many world records including the first person to swim both the English Channel and the Straits of Gibraltar underwater. He was also an actor and model for several Hollywood productions both in front of and behind the camera. Later in life, he owned and piloted the largest glass bottom tour boat in the Bahamas. A committal service with military honors was held at the Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, FL on Friday, September 18, 2015 at 1:00pm.
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Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.