Five Deeps Expedition is complete after historic dive to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean

September 10, 2019

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


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 Deep 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 as the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates split apart 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.”

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