Monday 7 March 2016

An American environmental nature photographer, Gary Braasch, died today while snorkelling at the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station on the northern end of the Great Barrier Reef.

Mr Braasch, 72, from Portland, Oregon, USA, was documenting climate change impacts on the Great Barrier Reef. He was snorkelling with a companion earlier this morning near Lizard Island when he was observed floating face down in the water.

The Lizard Island Research Station was immediately alerted and went to the scene, while a nearby diver commenced CPR. An emergency team from Lizard Island Research Station then assisted with advanced resuscitation but efforts to revive Mr Braasch failed. A medical doctor who was volunteering at the research station also assisted and was in radio contact with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

Queensland Police have been notified and are investigating the incident. Mr Braasch’s family in the United States have also been notified.

According to, Mr Braasch’s website, the photographer had received many major awards and citations for his work and has been published by the New York Times Magazine, Life, Time, National Geographic, Smithsonian, and the United Nations among many others. A Nikon ‘Legend Behind the Lens’ photographer, Mr Braasch was an active climate change campaigner. His book Earth Under Fire was published in 2009 while many of his photography projects have been exhibited in museums around the world.

The Australian Museum and Lizard Island Research Station extends its sincere sympathies to Mr Braasch’s family and friends.

For further information contact:

Tehmi Sukhla
P +61 2 9320 6159
M +61 424 205 359