Manned Submersible Expedition will Film Documentary in Deep Ocean Trenches

An expedition is planning to dive into five of the deepest trenches in the ocean to document unknown parts of the seafloor using a two-passenger submersible vehicle designed specifically for deep sea diving.

The Five Deeps Expedition will use a specialized Triton submarine vessel named Limiting Factor that is designed for diving to extreme depths and lists a purchase price of $48.2 million. Dr. Alan Jamieson of Newcastle University will lead the oceanographic science program, including sampling of deep ocean lifeforms and gathering data on water temperatures and salinity and shifts in food chains and ocean geology caused by tectonic plate movement over time.

The submarine will be piloted by Caladan Oceanic founder Victor Vescovo and transported and deployed by the ship Pressure Drop, which was retrofitted specifically for the task. There will also be as many as 50 scientific landers launched during the mission in addition to the manned submersible dives. The trenches that will be explored during the expedition include Malloy Deep in the Arctic Ocean (5,669 m); Java Trench in the Indian Ocean (7,725 m); Puerto Rico Trench in the Atlantic Ocean (8,648 m); the South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean (8,428 m); and the Mariana Trench/Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean (10,898 m).

Challenger deep is assumed to be the deepest part of the ocean floor at nearly 11,000 meters deep, the maximum depth to which the submarine is certified to dive safely. The trench is seven miles deep, which means Mount Everest would fit inside this deep ocean trench, and the peak of the mountain would still be a mile underwater (Nat Geo).

The trench dives will be filmed by Atlantic Productions and documentary filmmaker Anthony Geffen. The mission documentary will air in 2019 in a multi-platform media event, DEEP PLANET (wt) on Discovery and Science Channel.

Learn more about each of the expedition dive locations at

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