Explore all of Caladan Oceanic’s scientific and explorative subsea expeditions

2021/22 Expeditions – Ring of Fire Part II

Caladan Oceanic’s three-phase 2021 Expedition programme


Mauna Kea “First Ascent” Expedition

January 2021

In February 2021, Victor Vescovo and Dr. Clifford Kapono made the first “full ascent” of Mauna Kea from its base at -5,116m on the seafloor, to its summit at +4,207m. As with any true mountaineering expedition, it was a round trip made using only human power – with the exception of minimal electrical power for the submersibles that allows for the ascent and descent…

Mauna Kea First Ascent Expedition


Challenger Deep

MARCH 2021

In March 2021, Richard Garriott became the first person in history to launch into space, visit the north and south poles, and journey to the bottom of the ocean.

His good friend and fellow explorer Michael Dubno visited the bottom two days later, assisting the team to survey an unexplored portion of the northeast “wall” of the Eastern Pool, Challenger Deep.

Hamish Harding and Victor Vescovo made the world’s longest dive to full-ocean-depth, at 4 hrs 15mins, in the Eastern Pool.

Finally, Nicole Yamase became the first citizen of the Federated States of Micronesia to dive to Challenger Deep in an area that was part of her own country…

Challenger Deep Expedition


Philippine Trench – First Crewed Descent

March 2021

Dr Deo Florence Onda, Oceanographer, dives with Victor Vescovo to the third-deepest spot on Earth, Emden Deep in the Philippine Trench. Dr Deo becomes the deepest-diving Filipino and, with Victor, the first to dive to the bottom of the Philippine Trench…

Philippine Trench Expedition


Samar Battlefield

March 2021

In 1944, the largest naval battle in history occurred during World War II in the waters surrounding the Philippines. One of the battles in that week-long running series of engagements involved one of the most improbable victories in history by the US Navy.

In March 2021, Caladan Oceanic successfully relocated the wreckage and confirmed that it was the USS Johnston by capturing its unique hull number on film. The team then surveyed the ship and its debris fields over two dives at 6,460 meters – the deepest wreck dives ever made in history.

Samar Battlefield Expedition



March 2021

Caladan Oceanic’s “ANZAC Dive” to Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench saw Australian Tim Macdonald and New Zealander Rob McCallum become the first of their respective countrymen to reach the deepest point in the ocean.



Mariana Trench

April 2021

Caladan Oceanic’s 2021 Ring of Fire Expedition, Part II, concluded with multiple dives to Challenger and Sirena Deeps. During the dives sponsored by American Larry Connor, the team was able to retrieve the first mantle rocks from the bottom of the ocean containing microbacterial mats. It also saw the first Spaniard, Hector Salvador of Barcelona, descend to the bottom of the Mariana Trench — thus making him the deepest diving Spanish citizen in history.

Mariana Trench Expedition


North Pacific

Sep-Oct 2021

The Pressure Drop undertook a nearly two-month journey to the Bering Sea and North Pacific, mapping over 200,000 square kilometers of ocean floor in support of the GEBCO Seafloor 2030 mission. Frequent, intense storms required significant itinerary adjustments but the crew accomplished the core mission and returned safely to Guam.

North Pacific Expedition


South Pacific

Sep-Oct 2021

The team journeys south to thoroughly map the Massau, West Melanesian, and New Britain Trenches followed by a trip to Cairns, Australia to pick up the submersible Limiting Factor — where it had been undergoing refit. Afterwards, the sub will attempt to make the first crewed dives in history to the deepest points of the San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, and Kermadec Trenches. The Kermadec is the last of the world’s four 10,000 meter trenches that the team have not yet dived.

South Pacific Expedition


Atacama Trench, Chile

January 2022

The Caladan Oceanic team head to the coast of Chile to dive the deepest trench in the South-Eastern Pacific – the Atacama Trench. Victor and Dr Osvaldo Ulloa reach the deepest point, 80.6m meters (+/- 8m).  A second dive with Dr Ruben Escribano is made to the eastern slope of Richard’s Deep, the second deepest in the Atacama Trench.

Atacama Trench Expedition


Leyte Gulf Battlefield

June 2022

On June 22, 2022, the Caladan Oceanic team conducted a series of dives off the island of Samar in the Philippines, searching for the wrecks of American vessels lost in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. They found the wreckage of Destroyer Escort 413, the Samuel B. Roberts – also known as the “Sammy B.”

Leyte Gulf Expedition

2020 Expeditions

Caladan Oceanic’s five-phase 2020 Expedition programme

2020 Expeditions Map


La Minerve S647

February 2020

The French submarine La Minerve, lost to the sea in 1968, played host to the first of Caladan Oceanic’s 2020 Expeditions. The submarine, the location of which was only discovered in mid-2019, rests approximately 30 miles to the south of Toulon, France at a depth of 2,350 m (7,709 ft). The dives to La Minerve followed a series of Sea Trials designed to work-up the systems and personnel after their break from the Five Deeps and Titanic Expeditions which culminated in 2019.

La Minerve Expedition


Calypso Deep Expedition

February 2020

Caladan Oceanic’s second Expedition of 2020 was to Calypso Deep. It is located in the Hellenic Trench, Ionian Sea south-west of Pylos, Greece. It is the deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea, with a maximum depth of approximately 5,267 m (17,280 ft).

Calypso Expedition


Red Sea Expedition

March 2020

Caladan Oceanic’s third Expedition dives of 2020 took place in the Red Sea following a transit from the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal. The Red Sea has a maximum depth of 3,040 m (9,970 ft) in the central Suakin Trough.

Red Sea Expedition


Nekton Expeditions

March & April 2020

Following the cancellation of the planned Nekton Mission due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Caladan Oceanic performed detailed mapping of key points of interest in the Amirante Trench in the West Seychelles. The mapping data captured offers a dramatic improvement in resolution over the best existing data.

Nekton Expedition


Ring of Fire Expedition PART 1

May 2020

The fifth and final Expedition for Caladan Oceanic in 2020 is also its most ambitious. This multi-phase Expedition encompasses, the Swire Deep, Palau & Yap Trenches, Challenger Deep, and the Northern Mariana Trench.

Ring of Fire Expedition

2018/19 Expeditions

Five Deeps Expedition

2018 – 2019

After travelling 47,000 miles and completing 39 dives, the Five Deeps Expedition has reached its successful conclusion: the first manned descent to the bottom of each of the world’s five oceans. Numerous other firsts have been made, including the world’s deepest manned dive in history, to a new record 10,925 meters at the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep, as well as the first submersible and pilots to repeatedly dive to the bottom of the ocean.


Back to Titanic


The first dives to Titanic in 14 years, and the first to record the wreck in 4K Ultra-High Definition and 3D. The Expedition yielded valuable data about the current state of the wreck and the speed and nature of deterioration.

National Geographic: Back to Titanic (US)