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Dubai resident Hamish Harding to dive to ocean's deepest point to study marine life, impact of pollution
The expedition is carried out aboard the Triton deep submarine
Long-time Dubai resident Hamish Harding is preparing to embark on an extraordinary journey on Friday, to support the UAE's commitment to pioneering the march of exploration and science, by diving at the deepest point on earth.
Harding is joined by the famous deep-sea explorer Victor Vescovo, on a journey that aims to explore new marine species at a depth of 11 km below sea level, equivalent to about 13 times the height of Burj Khalifa, in addition to searching for evidence of whether human pollution has reached this spot.
If the trip goes according to plan and the weather conditions are appropriate, it is expected that Harding's voyage will achieve a new world record, added to the Guinness Book of Records for the greatest distance a person can travel in the depths of the ocean.
Harding, Chairman of Action Aviation said: “The Challenger Deep is a very harsh environment and is waiting to be explored and studied on a larger level.
“I have always been inspired by the spirit of adventure and exploration in the Emirates, as this country gives you a feeling that anything is possible, and I am proud to represent the country as the first person from the Middle East, to sink to the lowest point on Earth. ”
While diving, we will try to use a robotic arm to collect samples from the ocean floor, in the hope that some of them contain new life forms that may provide important information about the beginning of life on our planet. While looking for signs of human pollution in this remote environment, we hope to help scientific efforts to protect our oceans and ensure their prosperity for thousands of years to come. ”
The expedition is carried out aboard the Triton deep submarine, specially designed for this expedition, and is boarded by Harding, accompanied by Victor.
The submarine was designed for two people to withstand a pressure of 100,000 tonnes in the depths of the ocean, equivalent to 50 jumbo jets, which is 1,200 times higher than the standard air pressure at sea level.
Harding and Victor set out to cross the ocean floor by 25-30 km, they will use the submarine’s robotic arm to collect samples that scientists analyse on board the DSSV Pressure Drop boat and teams at the University of Newcastle and the British Geological Survey.
Also participating in this expedition is young Giles, Harding's 13-year-old son, who will stay on board the DSSV Pressure Drop to document his father's journey on his Instagram @ giles.explores. Only 18 people have managed to dive to this depth.
The year 1960 saw the first submarine descend on the ocean floor, spending only twenty minutes there before ascending to the surface. 2012 saw the first solo landing by Hollywood director James Cameron aboard a deep submergence vehicle (DSV) to this point, spending 2 hours and 34 minutes at a depth of 10,908 metres below sea level.