James Cameron dives to deepest point of Mariana Trench
Los Angeles, March 26, 2012
First Published: 11:38 IST(26/3/2012)
Last Updated: 14:06 IST(26/3/2012)
Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron succeeded in reaching the depth of the Mariana Trench on Sunday, becoming the first person in the world to complete the feat in a solo dive.
Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron slides into the hatch of the DeepSea Challenger submersible as he prepares for his record dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. (AP)
Cameron, who is also an avid explorer, plumbed the depths of The Challenger Deep, a depth of 35,756 feet southwest of Guam in the Pacific Ocean, National Geographic said.
The director surfaced from the ocean at about 7 p.m., reported Xinhua.
"All systems OK," Cameron, who is National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, told the crew after reaching the lowest point on earth.
"Just arrived at the ocean's deepest pt," he said in his Twitter account roughly an hour after reaching the lowest point of the ocean.
"Hitting bottom never felt so good. Can't wait to share what I'm seeing w/ you@DeepChallenge."
James Cameron emerges from the hatch of Deepsea Challenger during testing of the submersible in Jervis Bay, south of Sydney, Australia in 2012. Photo: AFP
The endeavour was achieved after seven years of preparation. Cameron, 57, travelled solo inside Deepsea Challenger, a torpedo-shaped specially crafted submersible that he helped to design.
Under Deepsea Challenge, a joint scientific expedition which partnered the director with National Geographic, Cameron was to spend up to six hours on the sea floor, collecting samples for scientific research and taking pictures and video of the famous trench. The director/explorer surfaced in 70 minutes which was considered faster than expected.
Cameron is the only person to ever complete the dive to the point in a solo vehicle, and the first since 1960 to do so in a manned submersible when the feat was completed by US Navy Lt. Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard in the bathyscaphe Trieste.