- James Wigginton
- 71:124 year(s):day(s)
- Guam (Guam)
The oldest person to reach the Challenger Deep is James Wigginton (USA; b. 23 February 1949), who was 71 years 124 days when he travelled to the Challenger Deep on 26 June 2020.
This dive was made as part of Jim's two part goal to skydive from over 7 miles high and also dive in a submersible nearly 7 miles deep to draw media attention and build awareness and funding for Thyroid Cancer treatment and research.
Jim was accompanied by Victor Vescovo, who is the Chief Pilot of the Deep Submergence Vehicle Limiting Factor. He has also made several dives to the Challenger Deep before this trip. They made a 12 hour round trip voyage from the surface to the bottom of Challenger Deep, spending just over 3 hours on the bottom.
The data from the 2019 dives yielded an average depth of 10,925 m (35,843 ft) in the "Eastern Pool" depression of the Challenger Deep. But the further dives performed in June 2020 extended the maximum depth. Independent analysis of the latest data-set by expert hydrographers places the Eastern Pool of the Challenger Deep at 10,935 m (35,876 ft), with a deviation of +/- 3 m at 1-sigma (68% probability) or +/- 6 m at 2-sigma (95% probability).