“The high point of my career is actually the lowest point,” Patrick Lahey said.
What makes it funny is that Lahey builds submarines for a living.
Between April 28 and May 5, Limiting Factor, the submarine built by Lahey’s small team of innovators based at Triton Submarines in Sebastian, accomplished what before now was unthinkable — diving to the lowest point in the sea over and over again.
Dallas businessman, intrepid explorer and extreme adventurer Victor Vescovo partnered with Triton Submarines four years ago. Limiting Factor carried Vescovo twice on solo missions to the sea floor in the Mariana Trench in a location known as Challenger Deep.
Vescovo, 53, became the first man to descend twice to the deepest spot in the ocean — 35,853 feet, or 6.79 miles from the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
The third and fourth dives featured Vero Beach’s Lahey in the pilot’s seat.
One of Lahey’s dives secured certification for Limiting Factor as the first-ever full-ocean commercial submersible. The sub also retrieved a scientific lander that had become stuck in the mud 10,927 meters from the surface.
Another of Lahey’s dives surveyed part of the subduction zone in the trench. A fifth dive was conducted at Sirena Deep, 128 miles northeast of Challenger Deep, but still in the Mariana Trench.