Wednesday, 17 July, 2019


Plastic found during historic ocean dive in Mariana Trench

Undersea explorer Victor Vescovo pilots the submarine DSV Limiting Factor in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench in an undated still image from video released by the Discovery Channel Plastic found during historic ocean dive in Mariana Trench
Bennie Garza | 14 May, 2019, 16:20

"It was very disappointing to see obvious human contamination of the deepest point in the ocean", Vescovo said in an interview.

First, Vescovo will dive to the second deepest trench in the Pacific, the Tonga Trench, he says there is a slim chance it could actually be deeper than the Mariana Trench.

His record breaks those set by U.S. Navy lieutenant Don Walsh and Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard who touched down on the seafloor at the depth of 10,912 meters in their submersible in the 1960 and movie director James Cameron who reached the same limit in 2012.

Making multiple trips almost 11 kilometers, or seven miles, to the ocean floor - one of them four hours in duration - Vescovo set a record for the deepest solo dive in history, his team said.

The expedition has made four dives in the Mariana Trench in the last three weeks to collect biological and rock samples. Robotic landers were also deployed to explore the remote terrain.

"It's nearly indescribable how excited all of us are about achieving what we just did", Vescovo said.

Victor Vescovo stands next to a submarine that he took to the deepest point on planet.

He told BBC News: "I salute Victor Vescovo and his outstanding team for the successful completion of their historic explorations into the Mariana Trench".

The expedition team notes in the press release that the next stop on the Five Deeps Expedition is the Horizon Deep in the South Pacific Ocean.

The Five Deeps Expedition is exploring the planet's deepest undersea places.

He also saw angular metal or plastic objects, one with writing on it.

Plastic waste has reached epidemic proportions with an estimated 100 million tonnes of it now found in the world's oceans, according to the United Nations. After spending four hours wholly submerged, in a submarine built to endure the huge pressure of the deep, he discovered what can only be described as litter.

Scientists plan to test the newly-discovered creatures to see if they contain microplastics.

The dive was the first for The Five Deeps Expedition, funded by Vescovo, and is being filmed for a Discovery Channel documentary.

He's also been to the highest peak of every continent and to the bottom of four of the world's oceans.

The Five Deeps dive to Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean broke a new record.

The Molloy Deep has yet to be explored, and Vescovo's team will be there in August, according to CNN.

Vescovo dove in a submersible called the Limiting Factor, now the world's deepest-diving operational submarine.

At its core is a 9cm-thick titanium pressure hull that can fit two people, so dives can be performed solo or as a pair.

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