Associated Press - Saturday, September 19. 1999

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- The owner of a popular Caribbean scuba-diving business is spending his last days consoling friends -- and some celebrities -- as they eulogize him over the Internet.

"I'm calling them and cheering them up," said 70-year-old Alan Baskin, who is dying from pancreatic cancer.

Well-wishers include his daughter Roberta Baskin, a CBS News correspondent; retired CBS anchor Walter Cronkite and author George Plimpton.

"Your disdain for self-pity and your zest for the great adventure ahead perhaps have played a greater part in all of our lives than you shall ever know," Cronkite wrote in his living eulogy to Baskin. "You have given us an example to live -- and to die -- by. ... Farewell, good friend."

Baskin, dubbed "The Sage of the Sea" in a 1983 Sports Illustrated article, was diagnosed with cancer in July. He opted against treatment and rented an apartment on South Beach where he plans to live out his final days.

"Everyone in the deep you know so well is wishing you the best, narwhals, porcupine fish, octopi, morays, et alia. And the undersigned," Plimpton wrote.

The Web site,, was created by a friend.

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