For the second time, The Five Deeps Expedition has set sail on a mission to reach one of the most remote points on the planet: the deepest point of the South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean.
Currently measured at 7,235 meters/23,736 feet deep, this destination presents many challenges related to logistics and weather conditions, yet holds the possibility of groundbreaking scientific discovery due to the fact that it has not been thoroughly explored and is the only subzero Hadal zone (deeper than 6,000 meters) in the world.
The Five Deeps crew set sail from Montevideo, Uruguay on January 24 and will travel 7 days (1,450 nautical miles) southeast to Grytviken on the island of South Georgia and then another 2-3 days (550 nautical miles) to the South Sandwich Islands and Trench itself where multibeam sonar mapping and the deep dives will take place over 3-4 days, weather permitting.
“This is an especially exciting dive for our whole crew based solely on the fact that we are sailing into quite unknown territory, while trying to overcome the potential for treacherous weather and sea conditions,” said Victor Vescovo, the expedition creator and chief sub pilot. “If the weather holds and we have the opportunity, it is our intention to dive the Southern Ocean Deep, and then go north to possibly dive the Meteor Deep. We also plan to map the heck out of the trench and deploy landers to collect multiple sediment and biological samples.”
“All together, the EYOS Expeditions team have led more than 800 safe and successful expeditions to Antarctica; but this one is unique. This is pure exploration in the same spirit as the original polar pioneers such as Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott,” said Rob McCallum of EYOS Expeditions. “This is one of the most remote corners of our planet, and we will traverse more than 2,000 miles just to reach the Trench. Being this far from home we need to be well prepared, so we have added one of the world’s most accomplished expedition physicians to the team as well as an Ice Pilot with decades of experience."
“The Triton Submarines team is aboard the good ship Pressure Drop once again to assist Mr. Vescovo, with an attempt to complete the second and perhaps most challenging of the Five Deeps Expedition objectives; the world’s first dive to the deepest point of the
South Sandwich Trench in the Southern Ocean. The Triton 36,000/2 or Limiting Factor submersible makes it possible for Mr. Vescovo to be the first person in history to visit two of the most hostile and least understood Hadal zones on our planet. We are thrilled to be a part of this remarkable and unprecedented journey of discovery.”
The Five Deeps mission is being filmed by Atlantic Productions for a five-part Discovery Channel documentary series due to air in 2020.
For updates on the expedition, click here. The website also has all of the information one might need regarding the technology, scientific goals, crew and team bios, expedition overview.
Organizations are welcome to submit interest in supporting the expedition and its scientific missions to FiveDeepsPress@richards.com.