Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rusiate Balenagasau 1960-2015


I've just received the tragic news of the passing of my friend and dive buddy Rusi, the man in the yellow hood. A gentle and humble man, he loved and understood his sharks like no other.

May you dive in endless seas filled with friendly sharks.

David here.
Alex.
Cristina.
Martin.
Lill.
Michele.

16 comments:

Michael Patrick O'Neill said...

I'm very very sorry and sad to read this today Mike. My thoughts and prayers to Rusi's family and the entire BAD team during this difficult time. Sincerely, Michael Patrick O'Neill

OfficetoOcean said...

Such sad news Mike. Rusi was such an iconic part of everything that makes B.A.D so great.

Sending lots of love to you all

Lindsay L. Graff said...

The saddest of news. The loss of Rusi will be felt by every marine creature in Fiji, for they all had the same shared love and respect for each other. It was my honor to have known and dove with him for the last four years, and I just hope that I can be even half of the kind of person that Rusi was; gentle, kind, sincere, respected, and loved by all humans and animals around him.

Shark Diver said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear that! What a great loss!

Jayne Jenkins said...

So so sorry to hear this - what a loss to you - thoughts are with you all at BAD family.

Douglas SEIFERT said...

Such devastating, terrible news. Rusi has always been larger than life and a pillar of calm in a sea of excited sharks and even more excited divers. His example of quiet authority and an innate understanding of shark signals held us all in such awe and our reverence for his manner, his knowledge and the way he handled himself below and above the sea made it natural to put ourselves into his hands. There is still so much to learn and our great teacher is no longer holding classes for us, instead we must carry on his spirit. Rest in Peace, dear Rusi and thank you for the honor of knowing you and the lessons you taught us.

Michele Hall said...

This is such terribly sad news.
It was so wonderful to reunite with Rusi less than 3 months ago.
My heart aches for all of the B.A.D. family. Howard and I send our heartfelt condolences.

Tropical Selkie said...

His spirit will forever be with the sharks. I am honored that I got to dive with him even once and when I interviewed him, his deep love and respect for "his" sharks was evident in his words and in his eyes. Dive deep in peace, Rusi.

Ian Campbell said...

My deepest sympathies to you and Rusi's extended family.

It was truly an honour to have met, dived and spoken with him. A man that has done more for shark conservation and the betterment of his fellow man than many of us will ever achieve.

Dive in peace.

Sam Cahir said...

These things are never easy to write, and with a heavy heart I extend my deepest condolences to everyone at BAD and of course Rusi's family. Rusi was such a personal and humble man and I consider myself very honoured to have known a side of Rusi not too many people get to see. I have wonderful memories of Rusi. He certainly has a way with the sharks which is truly unique, whilst it does sound cliche, he was 'at one' with the sharks and I'm blessed to have witnessed these interactions so many times.
Look after him Dakuwaqa and allow his spirit to Rest in Peace.

The Sharkman said...

I am both shocked and saddened by the news of Rusi passing away. He was a great man and a true friend. His knowledge and passion for sharks was second to none. Seeing him with the Bull sharks was like seeing two dancers in motion. My prayers are with his family and friends. FAREWELL MY FRIEND....I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU.

Gary Stokes said...

Very sad news to hear. Deepest condolences to Rusi's family. The man in the yellow hood was as iconic to the world of shark diving as a certain Frenchman with his little red hat was to underwater exploration!
I only got to dive with him once, a long time back but with Rusi near to you, there was nothing to fear from even the largest bull shark. RIP

Stuart Ross said...

From:Stuart Ross(Las Vegas,Nevada) I am so sadden to hear the loss of Rusi. What a great human being,a gentlemen,and a contributing icon to marine life. I have had the pleasure of diving with him for the past eight years.What a loss this is to his family,his friends,and everyone at Beqa Adventure Divers. He will truly be missed by all.My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. STUART

Robin and Richard said...

We are very sad to read this news. Rusi was a wonderful man with a warmth of personality which attracted people and sharks equally. We feel privileged to have dived with such a wonderfully inspiring character and watched him interact with the creatures he loved so much. RIP Rusi and all our thoughts are with his family and the BAD crew at this sad time. Robin and Richard.

Stuart Gow said...

Simply a diving icon and legend.

From the pioneering diving in Beqa Lagoon, to the early days of Nai'a exploring Fiji's Vatu-i-Ra and beyond, and and home to Beqa and his sharks, Rusi will remain a champion of conservation and legend of Fiji Diving.

I now don't know who Helen will trust now to watch her back when diving around Beqa counting her small fish and corals, without Rusi her guardian to make her feel safe.

RIP Old Fella

BCole said...

You will be sorely missed, Rusi!