Robinsub 1- Robinsub 2

Ferraro organised “Robinsub 1” and “Robinsub 2”, the first Italian experiments on the survival of individuals underwater, and the subject of these experiments was his son, Italo. On this occasion he was preceded by the Americans and the French who had powerful means and facilities thanks to governmental funding. Instead, the Italian authorities and institutions always used the excuse that it would be impossible for them to cover the significant costs involved in experiments of that type.
Ferraro wanted to prove, provocatively, that it was possible to prepare an interesting experiment from a technical and scientific point of view even with investments amounting to only a mere ten thousand lira: spirit of initiative, commitment, passion and pride often go further than money.
He designed a "bell" of 2 x 2 x 2.5 metres, which was made of wire netting and internally lined with a plastic sheet. This was done to hold in the air that entered from the surface.
“Robinsub 1” took place on July 4th 1968 in Ustica on occasion of the X International Exhibition of Underwater Activities. The bell was anchored at 10 metres depth in front of the Grotta Azzurra, just below the hotel that bears the same name. Italo resided in it for fifty successive hours.
The “Robinsub 2” experiment took place on February 7th 1969 in Genoa and was performed during the Nautical Show at a temperature that was much lower than the one applied in Ustica during the month of July. The Italian newspaper “Il Secolo XIX” made a telephone and line available so that it could publish the first interview performed underwater by an envoy equipped with mask, fins and rebreather, who descended to find Ferraro's son in his winter residence under the sea. The father, Ferraro, received a congratulating telegram from the presidential palace on behalf of the president Giuseppe Saragat: "I would like to congratulate you and your collaborators on your daring underwater achievement, which your son is bravely concluding successfully. "
Italo re-emerged, frozen cold, on the morning of February 7th 1969, after eight days and six nights spent alone. (2)


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Italo Ferraro inside the submerged bell during a medical check
Italo Ferraro inside the submerged bell during a medical check