January 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
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Kathy’s first documentary ‘Mermaids in Paradise’ when aged 19 (National Screen and Sound Archives)
The underwater photography career of Ben Cropp got a boost with his material of a whale shark and diver off Montague Island NSW in 1965. Very rare footage at the time. Although photographed only with 16mm movie film the quality was good and large prints were enabled. National Geographic magazine later using one of the frames over 3 pages as a centrefold. Still pictures went viral around the world and a documentary would have done well with TV sales.
Divers at various times for Ben Cropp were Vic and John
January 11, 2011 § Leave a comment
(Top) Sunfish captured off Sydney’s North Head by Australian spear fishing champion Vic Ley who was paid well for it, equal to about $4000 today.
Sunfish have a huge dorsal fin that is regularly mistaken as belonging to a shark. A fisherman raced over to Vic’s boat to warn him of the giant shark, before he raced away in his own boat. Vic double-checked ‘the shark’ and speared it through a fin and then towed it to nearby Marineland, much to the delight of public relations manager Helen Verstak.
Much of Marineland’s early stock of sea creatures were speared by divers, especially Wally Gibbins
The diver with spear gun is journalist Mike Perry who interviewed Kathy regarding her deep dive. His story as published in Sydney’s former tabloid evening newspaper The Sun is included elsewhere within this blog.
(Above) Kathy worked at the original Marineland, in Sydney, since renamed OceanWorld, even more popular today by offering for a fee, dives with the toothy but not deadly sharks.
The one-piece swimsuit featured in YouTube’s video has a nice cut – would be well received on the beach today. Lotte aged about 20. Born in 1928 puts the film at 1948 approx. It appears to have been a ‘screen test’ possibly the first film story featuring Lotte, perhaps before they were married? Lotte dives well and looks good with a trim figure and blonde flowing hair.
Charlotte (“Lotte”) Hildegard Hass (née Baierl) (born November 6, 1928 in the Brigittenau district of Vienna) is the second wife of the Austrian naturalist and diving pioneer Hans Hass and worked as an underwater model and actress in several of his films. (Source http://en.wikipedia.org)
September 19, 2010 § 1 Comment
Kathy Troutt’s dive was recognized by the strict guidelines of Guinness Book of Records as a world record deep dive by a woman.
Back from the brink of certain death
Wally Reynolds – supervised the deep dive (his own story below).
September 13, 2010 Comments Off on KATHY TROUTT “The Age of Consent”
December 16, 2009 § Leave a comment
Catherine Adamston is a famous shipwreck near the entrance to Sydney Harbor at North Head.
Cinematographer Ben Cropp invited Kathy and Gai Girdlestone (pictured above) along for a dive while he salvaged a cannon. Both girls attended the same Sydney school in the same class.
The stubby cannon was transported to Marineland aquarium at Manly and placed in their main tank.
Kathy later joined a filming expedition with Gai to dive amongst dangerous sea snakes on the southern Great Barrier Reef.
The resulting documentary was titled “Mermaids in Paradise” an early and successful TV adventure by Ben Cropp for the Seven network.