Lindblad Expeditions / National Geographic
EXPLORATIONS – A Lindblad Expeditions Blog

Meet Don Walsh, the First Person to Dive to the Deepest Part of the Ocean

Lt. Don Walsh, USN (bottom) and Jacques Piccard (center) in the bathyscaphe Trieste

Yesterday National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron broke the solo dive record when his bright green, vertical-dive sub hit bottom in the very deepest part of the Mariana Trench. He now holds the record for the deepest solo dive—but he’s not the first person to reach this extreme depth.

On January 23, 1960, two explorers who reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench, and one of them was a part of Cameron’s expedition team this time around. Lieutenant Don Walsh of the U.S. Navy and Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard spent twenty minutes at the deepest part of the sea in the bathyscaph submarine Trieste that employed gasoline and electromagnetically controlled iron pellets as ballast.

Dr. Walsh was aboard James Cameron’s support ship during his dive yesterday, and he was one of the first to congratulate him back at the surface. And soon Dr. Walsh will be aboard our ship, National Geographic Explorer.

He will be one of our global perspective speakers during our Nov 7 expedition to Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falklands and also our Nov 27 expedition to Antarctica. There are still a few cabins available, join us to explore one of the planet’s wildest places and learn about the pioneering and ongoing exploration of the deepest parts of the sea from Dr. Walsh.