Skip navigation
The Daily Brief
Five Deeps Expedition, Caladan Oceanic LLC Five Deeps Expedition, Caladan Oceanic LLC

Wealthy Thrillseekers in a Race to the Bottom (of the Ocean)

Self-aggrandizement or science? Why not both?

Victor Vescovo intends to go where no other man, or rich guy with his own submersible, has gone before: the deepest spot in each of the world’s oceans. In late December he completed his first of five key solo dives, this one to the more than 27,000-foot bottom of the Atlantic Ocean’s Puerto Rico Trench. He also happens to be the first individual to have done this particular dive solo; in fact, only one other wealthy individual has ever gone deeper: Director James Cameron in his own sub Deepsea Challenger touched bottom in the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench back in 2012—the deepest spot in any of the world’s oceans at 36,070 feet or 6.8 miles below the surface.

Sure, scientists and institution- or state-owned submersibles and remotely operated vehicles have been there and to each of the other four spots, but not a single, self-funded individual. Called Five Deeps Expedition, it’s the brainchild of Vescovo, co-founder and a managing partner of private equity firm, Insight Equity. His two-person submersible, Triton, can reach all five of the deepest spots in the oceans of the world.

Five Deeps Expedition, Caladan Oceanic LLC

While many will argue Vescovo is just doing it because he can, he has employed academics and scientists (a team of 55 professionals are accompanying him on the expedition), and one of the goals of the project is creating cutting-edge, high-resolution 3D maps of these parts of the world’s largely unexplored oceans. His custom-built American-made Triton submersible cost $35 million and has the moniker Deep Submergence Vehicle Limiting Factor.


Want The Daily Brief delivered directly to your inbox? Sign up for’s Morning Memo newsletter.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.