Calling Scott Cassell as an another poster boy for ocean conservation just doesn’t cut it. The 60-yearold’s life makes for an epic action movie: He served in the US military for two decades as a soldier, combat diver and counter terrorism operator until an injury (a knife in the back, to be specific) took him out of combat and into the field of ocean exploration and preservation.
For Scott, the phrase “protect the seas” goes beyond lobbying for new laws with placards. He and his film company (Sea Wolves Unlimited) actually track poachers and gather evidence of their plundering activities.
And when thee co warrior is not on such missions, he’s busy with the Underwater Voyager Project (UVP), a non-profit organization he founded for oceanic research and outreach. Also the ambassador for Swiss watch maker Luminox, Scott was recently in Asia to launch the brand’s Save The Seas campaign. Our editor Yuling rode in the UVP’s submersible with Scott – and had a glimpse of the man behind that tough exterior.
TO STAY IN SHAPE… I train for two hours every
day when I’m not travelling or working on projects or expeditions. I do push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and other weight-bearing exercises until I’m quivering – and then I run for an hour. I call it “earning my day”. I need strength to do my job.
● I’M NOT TOUGH… I’m just hard to kill. That
knife in the back damaged some nerves and caused 40 per cent paralysis in my left leg. In 2003, a poacher ran his boat over me while I was underwater filming endangered sea turtles being killed. The propeller struck through my bulletproof vest and broke a rib.
● I DON’T STOP TRYING BECAUSE… There’s
nothing more innocent than the sea – and it’s dying. As a soldier, I’ve taken an oath to protect the innocents and I’d rather die than break it. Educating people about the ocean and putting poachers behind bars gives my life value.
● I LOVE THE OCEAN SO MUCH… That my idea of
a romantic date would involve walking along the beach at night – especially with someone who has an equal love of the sea. It’s wonderful and energising.
● AS A MAN… I can be quite clueless. Women
feel things that men can only dream about. And I’m often too stupid to see those feelings. That’s why I think honesty is the most attractive trait in a woman.
● FILL IN THE BLANKS: A COUPLE WHO _________ STAYS TOGETHER.
A couple who shares a passion and spends time apart stays together. It’s important because it makes you miss the other person so much.
● IF I WOKE UP AS A WOMAN ONE DAY…
I would seek the answers to the questions I’ve had for a very long time… Like, what connection is there between a lady’s mind and her body? It took 47 years (the age Scott was when he met his fiancée) before I learnt the real value of something as simple as a kiss.