Wednesday, November 12, 2008

In Memoriam: Jacques Piccard

Jacques Piccard, Swiss oceanographer and underwater explorer passed away this month. From the family web site "... Born in Brussels on July 28, 1922, Jacques Piccard initially studied economics. His contacts with the business world helped to raise funds for his father's second bathyscaphe. Jacques then changed his career and worked with his father to build what was to become the bathyscaphe Trieste. Diving with Auguste, he broke numerous records before himself capturing the World Record for the deepest ever dive... Founder and Chairman of the Foundation for the Study and Protection of Seas and Lakes, based in Cully, Switzerland ..."

As mentioned, as part of 'Project Nekton,' Piccard set the world record for the deepest dive, when in January 1960 he descended to a depth of over 35,000 feet (almost seven miles deep) in the bathyscaphe Trieste. This occurred in the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, and he was accompanied by Lt. Don Walsh of the U.S. Navy. Their discovery that there were living organisms at that depth was one factor that led to the prohibition of nuclear waste dumping in ocean trenches...

Jacques Piccard - Wikipedia
Jacques Piccard - The Guardian
Journey to the Bottom of the Ocean
Intrepid explorer went to greatest depths
Savage Seas - Trieste animation

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