First person to reach the lowest points of Earth's oceans
Victor Vescovo
/ first
Not Applicable ()

Between 19 December 2018 and 24 August 2019, private equity investor, retired naval officer and explorer Victor Vescovo (USA) descended to the deepest point of each of Earth's five oceans (the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Indian, the Southern and the Arctic), as part of his Five Deeps Expedition. He performed the dives in the deep-sea submersible Limiting Factor developed by Triton Submarines and international maritime authority DNV-GL especially for this project. He completed the challenge in a time of 248 days.

Details of the dives are as follows:

- Atlantic Ocean: 19 Dec 2018: Puerto Rico Trench: 8,374.2 m (27,474 ft)

- Southern Ocean: 3 Feb 2019: South Sandwich Trench: 7,434.8 m (24,392 ft)

- Indian Ocean: 5 Apr 2019: Java Trench: 7,192 m (23,596 ft)

- Pacific Ocean: 28 Apr 2019: Challenger Deep (deepest point on Earth): 10,925 m (35,843 ft) [depth since updated to 10,934 m (35,872 ft) +/- 3 m]

- Arctic Ocean: 24 Aug 2019: Molloy Deep: 5,551 m (18,212 ft)

Vescovo worked with a host of engineers, scientists and deep-sea diving specialists on the Five Deeps Expedition, including with Lieutenant Don Walsh (USA), who along with Jacques Piccard (Switzerland) became the first people to reach the Challenger Deep on 23 January 1960 in the Trieste bathyscaphe.

Vescovo made a return expedition to the Challenger Deep in June 2020 to conduct a series of further dives and amass more comprehensive bathymetric data. Independent analysis of the latest data by expert hydrographers has extended the depth of the "Eastern Pool" in the Challenger Deep further still to 10,934 m (35,872 ft), with a deviation of +/- 3 m at 1-sigma or +/- 6 m at 2-sigma.

Vescovo has also achieved the Explorers' Grand Slam, which involves climbing the Seven Summits (the highest mountain on each continent) and skiing the Last Degree to the North and South Poles. In recognition of his adventuring achievements, he was awarded the Explorers Club Medal in 2020, the highest honour afforded by the organization.