American explorer says record-breaking deep dive "opening the door for science"

Federico Mansilla
May 18, 2019

During the expedition, Victor Vescovo has become the fourth person in history to dive to the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. It's the first attempt to reach the deepest point in each of the Earth's five oceans-the Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic, South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean, Java Trench in the Indian Ocean, Challenger Deep in the Pacific, and Molloy Deep in the Arctic.

Vescovo, the Dallas-based co-founder of private equity fund Insight Equity Holdings, found the man made material on the ocean floor and is trying to confirm that it is plastic, a spokeswoman for Vescovo's Five Deeps Expedition said.

Lahey said the Limiting Factor "represents a quantum leap in the capabilities of a manned submersible and everyone at Triton is immensely proud to have had the privilege and opportunity to create such a remarkable craft, which was only possible by the unwavering support and vision of Victor Vescovo".

Previous analysis of tiny deep-sea animals in the Mariana Trench found the ocean depths contain high levels of pollution.

After spending hours crisscrossing the bottom of the Challenger Deep, collecting video evidence of different wildlife, geological formations and man-made objects, Vescovo stopped for a second.

Vescovo hopes his discovery of trash in the Mariana Trench will raise awareness of how much is dumped in the oceans, and will pressure governments to better enforce existing regulations, or put new ones in place.

Mr Vescovo said: "It is nearly indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did".

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What looks like a plastic wrapper at the far right-hand corner of the picture.

"Vescovo's discovery of plastic in the deepest part of the ocean is disturbing but not surprising because plastic is found throughout the water column in our oceans", he said in a statement.

Titanic director James Cameron repeated the feat in 2012.

Lieutenant Don Walsh, USN, and Jacques Piccard in the bathyscaphe TRIESTE.

These conditions also made it challenging to capture footage - the Five Deeps expedition has been followed by Atlantic Productions for a documentary for the Discovery Channel.

In the May/June issue of Hydro International we'll publish an article about the Five Deeps Expedition.

Taking the hours-long journey to what is believed to be the deepest point mankind has visited in any ocean was a complicated one, and for Victor Vescovo, it meant being constantly on the alert as he monitored his state-of-the-art vessel.

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