In this ongoing series, we revisit some of the special projects that EYOS has supported over the years through expertise in marine logistics and operations. This week, with the onset of the Arctic summer, we look back to 2019’s historic deep sea dive to Molloy Deep, the deepest point of the Arctic Ocean and the culmination of a historic project.

Five oceans, five deeps— a journey around the world and down to the deepest point of each ocean that took two years of effort and endless planning. This was the Five Deeps Expedition, led by American explorer Victor Vescovo and assisted by EYOS Expeditions. The scope of this 10-month helical circumnavigation of the globe was staggering – so much so that the legendary ocean explorer Don Walsh referred to it as “the most ambitious exploration expedition of the Century.”

Molloy Deep was the 5th and final “deep”, a trench more than 5500m below the surface in the Greenland Sea, 100 miles west of Svalbard. It represented one last challenge for the team after successfully diving into trenches in the Pacific, Indian, Atlantic, and Southern Oceans. The team was at its peak, having dived continuously around the world through the entire gamut of mercurial ocean conditions.

On the day of the Arctic dive, August 24, 2019, conditions were again tough; cold, rough, and with a band of pack ice within a few miles of the site. But the dive went flawlessly and the team was jubilant.

The initial solo descent to Molloy Deep by Victor Vescovo successfully went to 5650m and was followed up with two science dives; one geological and one biological. All biological samples were processed, cataloged, and written up by the University of Newcastle to be disseminated publicly.

Photo: James Blake

“Privately funded ocean science has the ability to be nimble, fast, and efficient. The Five Deeps Expedition, the result of one man’s dream, made a significant contribution to ocean science, deep water engineering, and global exploration. We salute our clients in their endeavors to explore new horizons and deep frontiers.”
– Rob McCallum, EYOS Co-Founder

As a whole, across all five dive sites, the expedition made over 100 deep-sea lander deployments, discovered more than 40 new species (with more to come), recorded over 500 hours of high-definition video from the deep oceans, collected over 100,000 biological samples, 1.5 million vertical meters of water data, and collected bottom water at every deep for subsequent analysis.

This record-setting mission, and the collaboration between Caladan Oceanic, EYOS, and Triton Submarines, demonstrated the contributions private initiatives can make to ocean science. Projects like these promote the advancement of technology, serving as a pathfinder for future expeditions to continue visits to the extreme geographies of the world and to conduct more detailed scientific analyses.

Photo: Enrique Alvarez