The «Five Deeps expedition», led by Victor Vescovo , can give itself another tick in the accomplishment column. Not longafter diving the bottom of the Java Trench, the team reached the Mariana Trench at its deepest point, theChallenger Deep.
Victor Vescovo became the first man to dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 10,928 metres, all by himself. Incidentally, the previous record was second only by 16 meters.
As with the three previous dives conducted by the expedition, this time the DSV Limiting Factor (Triton 36000/2) from Triton Submarines, equipped with Kongsberg EM124 echo sounder, was used.
The previous successful visit to the Challenger Abyss was in 2012.
That daredevil was filmmaker James Cameron , who reached a depth of 10,908 meters while inside the Deepsea Challenger.
Earlier, in 1960, a U.S. Navy submersible named «Trieste» with Lieutenant Don Walshand Swiss naval officer James Cameron reached the 10,000-plus-meter mark. Don Walsh and Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard on board.
Notably, both «Trieste» and Deepsea Challenger have only dived once to the bottom of the Challenger abyss, while the DSV Limiting Factor has made several successful attempts - there were four between April 28 and May 5. On May 7 they decided «to inspect» the Siren abyssat the same time.
As ever, the team gathered comprehensive data for a Gebco and Nippon Foundation project to map the entire global ocean floor by 2030. On average, it took 3.5 hours to dive and an equal amount of time to ascend. The total time required for one such dive ranged from 11 to 12 hours.
«While the submarine captured an unknown to science ascidians at the bottom of the Java Trench, this time no big news was made: a plastic bag, some candy wrappers, and a couple of fish - here is the whole catch».
«It's almost impossible to describe - so excited are we all for what we managed to do»," Weskowo said upon completion when he arrived on the island of Guam.
The next intermediate stop for «Five Depths» is theTonga Trench, which is in the South Pacific Ocean. It is widely known as the second deepest oceanic trench in the world. Vescovo and the team plan to definitively clarify whether Tonga really loses out to the Mariana Trench in terms of depth, as there are still doubts on this point.
The final, fifth landing of the Deepest Ocean Expedition will take place off Spitsbergen to explore the mysterious Molloy Deep.