News & Opinion | December 30, 2018 5:00 am

Undersea Explorer Took First Trip to Deepest Point of Atlantic Ocean

Victor Vescovo dove over 27,000 feet below the surface.

Ocean
Humanity will finally touch the deepest corners of the world's oceans
Getty Images/EyeEm

Victor Vescovo, a private equity investor and undersea explorer, recently became the first person to visit the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean.

He is also the second person to deep-dive solo pilot a sub. That honor goes to James Cameron who directed the film Titanic and reached the lowest point of the Pacific Ocean in 2012.

The mission was riddled with mechanical issues up until the very last hours prior to launch. In Popular Science, expedition leader Rob McCallum calls the submarine “the most significant vehicle since Apollo 11,” so it’s no wonder leaks occurred, robotic arms fell off, and electrical malfunctions pushed back the launch on several occasions.

Pushing the engineers to their limits, the crew worked overnight leading up to the December 19th deadline. The leaky hatch was repaired, electrical work had been completed and the $350,000 robotic arm had been completely ditched (it was non-essential).

The next morning McCallum spoke to troops one final time. “We have all worked very long and very hard to get to this point… the culmination of a dream that’s become a reality,” he said. “Scientists give us purpose. Sonar tells us where to go. Filmmakers are telling our story. And the ship’s crew got us here…We just have to go and execute. The plan is pretty simple.” McCallum considered that and laughed. “He says, preparing to send a submersible to 8,400 meters under the sea.”

Six hours later Vescovo, who personally funded the project, emerged from his trip to the bottom of the ocean, a success. For Vescovo this is the first of five trips he’s taking to deep points around the world’s oceans. Up next: the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.