Victor Vescovo and team complete the final mission of the expedition in
world’s deepest diving operational submersible, the Limiting Factor
Expedition Filmed By Atlantic Production for Discovery Channel Documentary Series
New York – (September 9th, 2019) Explorer Victor Vescovo has become the first human to dive to the bottom of the deepest point of all five of the world’s oceans. On August 24th, with external sea temperatures dropping to -2 °C, Victor dived to a depth of 5,550 +/- 14 metres in the Molloy Deep (also scientifically referred to as the Molloy Hole), the deepest point in the Arctic Ocean. This was the first manned dive to ever reach the bottom of the Molloy Trench and marked the completion of the 5th and final stage of the historic Five Deeps Expedition, a mission to reach the deepest point of all five of the Earth’s oceans in a manned submersible and diving them solo. This expedition was completed using the DSV Limiting Factor – a specially-designed submersible (Triton 36000/2 model) – the world’s deepest diving and only commercial, DNV GL-certified, operational submersible and its support ship, the DSSV Pressure Drop.
The Molloy Deep was formed by gas explosion craters and lies 170 miles west of Svalbard, Norway. Three successful dives took place over the course of three days. Victor Vescovo went by himself to complete the first manned dive to the bottom of the Molloy Deep, reaching a bottom depth of 5,550 metres. This dive took place 40-50 miles from an ice pack edge, leading to a dangerous dive.
The Five Deeps Expedition is being filmed by Atlantic Productions for a five-part Discovery Channel documentary series, DEEP PLANET.
Victor Vescovo said “I am so proud of our entire, extraordinary team that made the Five Deeps Expedition possible. It took us over four years to go from embracing the general mission to dive to the bottom of all the world’s oceans – something no government or organization has ever attempted – to building this amazing diving system and then actually doing it.” He continued: “I still can’t quite believe I had the great privilege of getting to pilot the sub down to all these places where no one has gone before. Who says there is nothing left to explore on this planet? There is plenty to explore, and learn, in the oceans.“
Rob McCallum, expedition leader from EYOS Expeditions, said “The Five Deeps Expedition has opened the door to Earths last frontier, the hadal zone, and demonstrates the contributions private initiatives can make to ocean science and the advancement of technology.
It has been a rare privilege to lead an expedition of discovery in the modern age. This expedition has been a pathfinder and paves the way for future expeditions to visit further ocean trenches and to conduct more detailed scientific analysis.
The expedition has been a profound success; a complete circumnavigation of the planet to achieve all of the primary and secondary mission objectives and remaining injury free. It is a testament to the hard work, dedication, flexibility and passion of the entire expedition team.”
Patrick Lahey, co-founder of Triton Submarines, said “I felt a powerful wave of emotion as Victor emerged from his final dive of the Five Deeps Expedition. There was a tremendous sense of accomplishment, even relief, at having achieved the lofty goals Victor set out for us, tempered by the knowledge our remarkable journey had reached its natural and inevitable conclusion. Being part of this historic undertaking has been the greatest privilege of my professional life. It is my fervent hope our success has opened a door to an exciting new chapter in ocean exploration and our achievements will pave the way for future explorers to continue this important work. We thank Victor for trusting Triton to design and build the most extreme deep ocean exploration tool in history.”
Additional Information on the Five Deeps Expedition
The four previous deeps that have been reached on previous expeditions are as follows:
Puerto Rico Trench – December 2018. This was the first solo dive ever to the bottom of the deepest point of the Atlantic Ocean, with Victor reaching a depth of 8,376 meters at the Bronson Deep.
South Sandwich Trench – February 2019. Victor became the first human ever to reach the deepest point of the Southern Ocean, reaching a depth of 7,434 meters. This was the deepest dive ever into a sub-zero Hadal zone (greater than 6,000 meters), and only the third ever solo dive below 7,000 meters.
Java Trench – April 2019. Victor reached a depth of 7,192 meters to be the first person to reach the deepest point of the Indian Ocean. At the bottom of the trench, footage was captured of a new species of hadal snailfish amongst many other bottom dwelling organisms.
Mariana Trench – May 2019. Deepest dive in history to the bottom of Challenger Deep, to a record-breaking depth of 10,924 meters, breaking a record held since 1960 by Lieutenant Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard. It also surpassed James Cameron’s previous solo dive of 10,908 meters in 2012. Three new species of marine animal were found during this dive, including a type of Amphipod, discovered at the bottom of Challenger Deep.
Scientifically, the expedition made over 100 deep-sea lander deployments in thirteen locations, discovered more than 40 new species, recorded over 500 hours of high-definition video from the deep oceans, collected over 400,000 biological samples, 1.5 million meters of water data, and collected bottom water at every deep for subsequent analysis.
Over the course of the entire Five Deeps Expedition from December 2018 through September 2019, the expedition team travelled around the world more than 46,000 miles, discovered over 30 new nameable underwater features, and mapped over 300,000 square kilometres of seafloor and with a detailed multibeam system (Kongsberg EM124) which is an area the size of Italy.
In a historical coincidence, the expedition is concluding its mission in September 2019 — to the exact month — 500 years after the beginning of Ferdinand Magellan’s first circumnavigation of the globe.
About Caladan Oceanic
Caladan Oceanic is a private company dedicated to the advancement of undersea technology and supporting expeditions to increase the understanding of, and support, the productive sustainment of the oceans. Founder Victor Vescovo has long had a passion for exploration and has summited the highest peak on all seven of the world’s continents including Mt. Everest and skied at least 100 kilometres to both the North and South Poles. He also served for 20 years as an officer in the US Navy Reserve, retiring with the rank of Commander. With the completion of the Five Deeps Expedition, Vescovo has become the first person in history to have been to the top of all the world’s continents, both poles, and the bottom of all its oceans.
About Triton Submarines, LLC
Triton Submarines of Sebastian, Florida, is the most experienced civil submarine producer in the world today – and the only contemporary manufacturer of acrylic and titanium pressure-hull-equipped personal submarines to deliver multiple classed and certified vessels capable of diving to 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) or more. Triton Submarines’ senior staff have over 350 years of combined experience with more than 80 different submersibles, and their operations team members have together logged over 25,000 dives. Triton clients also enjoy superlative after-sales service and technical support from a company dedicated to their total satisfaction.
About EYOS Expeditions
EYOS Expeditions has been designing complex and challenging expeditions for private vessels since 2008. Drawing on the decades of experience of the company’s co-founders, the EYOS team has delivered over 1,200 safe and successful expeditions to some of the most remote destinations on Earth. EYOS Expeditions holds several “world firsts” and routinely takes clients to destinations rarely or never before visited. EYOS Expeditions and sister company Expedition Voyage Consultants has worked behind the scenes on many of the industry’s groundbreaking itineraries and has a long history of delivering once-in-a-lifetime experiences for clients while maintaining the highest standards of safety, professionalism and environmental stewardship. EYOS Expeditions is today regarded as the industry leader for planning and operating remote expeditions using submersibles.
About Atlantic Productions
Atlantic embraces several companies including the BAFTA- and Emmy-winning special effects company ZOO VFX and virtual reality company Alchemy. In 25 years, it has built a reputation for world-class storytelling, enhanced by the latest technology. Their diverse output includes 11 projects with David Attenborough including BAFTA award-winning Flying Monsters, Museum Alive (Sky) and The Great Barrier Reef; Inside the Commons (BBC), Time Scanners (NatGeo), Mission Galapagos (BBC), Jerusalem, City of Heaven (Discovery) and the acclaimed theatrical film The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest. Recent projects include the critically acclaimed Judi Dench: My Passion for Trees (BBC) and The Coronation (BBC/Smithsonian/ABC), made with the Queen. Atlantic won the first-ever BAFTA award for virtual reality with David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef Dive. Discovery Channel have commissioned Atlantic Productions to film a five-part documentary series covering the Five Deeps mission.
About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 88.3 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com
About Newcastle University
Newcastle University, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom, is a modern civic university with a proud tradition, committed to world-class academic excellence – but excellence with a purpose. Newcastle University is a red brick university and is a member of the Russell Group, an association of prestigious research-intensive UK universities. The University’s international strategy supports our aim to have a strong international community, experience, reputation and impact. The University hosts students from over 120 different countries and staff from over 80 countries with excellent cross-cultural interaction from working with more than 200 overseas universities and institutions. The university has one of the largest EU research portfolios in the UK. The annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £495.7 million of which £109.4 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £483.3 million.
About the British Geological Survey
The British Geological Survey (BGS) is a partly publicly-funded body which aims to advance geoscientific knowledge of the United Kingdom landmass and its continental shelf by means of systematic surveying, monitoring and research. The BGS advises the British government on all aspects of geoscience, as well as providing impartial advice on geological matters to the public, academics and industry. BGS is a component body of the UK Natural Environment Research Council which is the UK’s leading body for fundamental, strategic and applied research and monitoring in the environmental sciences both in the UK and for international projects. The core outputs of the BGS include geological, geophysical, geochemical and hydrogeological maps, descriptions and related digital databases. Scientists at the BGS produced the first comprehensive map of African groundwater reserves. One of the key strategic aims for the next decade is to complete the transition from 2-D mapping to a 3-D modelling culture.