Guam – China’s manned deep-sea submersible the “Jiaolong” made a successful first dive into the Mariana Trench Friday setting a new Chinese deep dive depth record of 6,671 meters which is 21,886 feet.
According to a report in the Shanghai Daily, the dive started about 9 am and it took the “Jiaolong” about 3 hours 40 minutes to reach the depth, after which “Jiaolong” ejected its iron ballast iron and rose back to the surface.
The 3 man crew that piloted the “Jiaolong” are Ye Cong, Cui Weicheng and Yang Bo. They were welcomed back on-board their mother ship the Xiangyanghong 09 by being doused with buckets of water.
[L-R: The 3 divers manning the Jiaolong are Cui Weicheng, Ye Cong and Yang Bo. (Xinhua/Luo Sha)]
Friday’s dive was the first of a series of six leading up to a 7,000 meter.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told PNC News that the Chinese are diving in an area of the Mariana Trench that lies within the waters of the Federated States of Micronesia, in the area of the Challenger Deep, which is the deepest known area of all the world’s oceans.
The Challenger Deep lies south of the U.S. administered Mariana Trench National Marine Monument, which falls under the jurisdiction of U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Project Leader Susan White told PNC News that they, along with the U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA are aware of the Chinese expedition and are monitoring it.