Deepest-dive dream comes at a price
The Triton deep-sea submersible Limiting Factor and its pilot Victor Vescovo have been in the Divernet headlines this year as they complete individual components of the six-month Ring of Fire expedition.
Now the enterprise has taken another turn as organisers EYOS Expeditions and Vescovo’s Caladan Oceanic announce the opportunity for members of the public to dive to the bottom of the deepest ocean on a scientific expedition. As well as deep-diving aspirations, however, they will need deep pockets!
The three guests or “mission specialists” joining the expedition this June will be expected to pay US $750,000 each for the privilege (it might sound slightly more do-able in sterling, £587,000).
For that price they will be among the first 15 humans to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench/Challenger Deep in the western Pacific Ocean, 10,928m or seven miles down.
“This is the most exclusive destination on Earth,” says Rob McCallum, founding partner of EYOS Expeditions. “Currently, only three manned expeditions have ever been made to the bottom of Challenger Deep, and more people have been to the Moon than to the bottom of the ocean.”
3 March 2020
The descents and ascents in Limiting Factor are each expected to last more than four hours, with another four hours to be spent on the seafloor.
The two-person submersible, rated to 14,000m, is said to be the only vehicle ever constructed that is capable of multiple dives to full ocean depth. It has already plumbed the bottom of the Mariana Trench five times.
The guests will join hadal exploration vessel Pressure Drop in Guam for the one-day trip out to the site for the dives.
As team-members they will be able to participate in on-board tasks such as tracking and communicating with the submersible and assisting with the launch and recovery operation. All training will be provided on board.