Deep-Sea News

The Five Deeps

SeaKeepers is pleased to share a series of profile pieces on the work and accomplishments of 2021 SeaKeeper of the Year, CDR Victor Vescovo, USN (Ret.). This installment covers “The Five Deeps”, he is the first person to have ever visited them all.

On Saturday, August 24th, 2019, in the near-freezing waters of the Molloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean, Victor Vescovo did the unthinkable: he completed “The Five Deeps.” This extraordinary global mission is the world’s first successfully manned expedition to 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. These expeditions proved to be the ultimate validation of a unique deep-sea, manned Triton 36000/2 submersible, the "Limiting Factor" named after a spaceship in Iain Banks’ science-fiction Culture series. It was deployed from the research vessel, “Pressure Drop”.

FiveDeeps2Team photo aboard research vessel "Pressure Drop" | Credit: Nick Verola/Verola Media

With the support of Triton Submarines' President Patrick Lahey’s design expertise, Newcastle University professor Dr. Alan Jamieson’s scientific knowledge, and EYOS Expeditions, Vescovo successfully deployed this innovative craft to further scientific research and illuminate previous theories on ocean exploration. A promise that was made to the Nippon Foundation’s Seabed 2030 project made mapping the seafloor an important part of the long voyages accompanying the deep dives. The team mapped over one million square kilometers of new seafloor and named over 40 new undersea features. Vescovo and the team were also able to identify new animals in heretofore unexplored depths and discovered adaptations of known species to support life on the ocean floor living at over 16,000 pounds per square inch of pressure.

FiveDeeps3Victor Vescovo celebrating the completion of "The Five Deeps" | Credit: EYOS Expeditions/Reeve Jolliffe

Throughout Vescovo’s business career he has advanced new technologies and taken both the financial and scientific worlds to new heights and depths. Vescovo’s global ocean expeditions have paved the way for scientific research, a key pillar of The International SeaKeepers Society’s mission. “The Five Deeps” expeditions have illuminated the depths of the oceans revealing scientific wonders and new marine life. We are proud to present Victor Vescovo with the well-deserved 2021 SeaKeeper of the Year award.

ECO Magazine is a marine science publication committed to bringing scientists and professionals the latest ground-breaking research, industry news, and job opportunities from around the world.

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