The private equity veteran and co-founder of Dallas-area Insight Equity has completed the first manned submarine dive to the bottom of the Molloy Deep, the lowest point in the Arctic Ocean at some 18,209 feet, to become the first human to reach the lowest points in each of the world's five oceans.
The final dive took place 170 miles west of Svalbard, Norway, on August 24. And it came just days after the 53-year-old's team became the first in 14 years to explore the wreckage from the Titanic. Vescovo completed each of his dives in the DSV Limiting Factor, which is essentially a $35 million two-man titanium submarine built specifically to withstand the intense water pressure at those depths.
Vescovo and his Five Deeps Expedition team have traveled the world over the past 10 months, with their expeditions recorded for a five-part documentary series dubbed "Deep Planet" that will air on the Discovery Channel.
"I am so proud of our entire, extraordinary team that made the Five Deeps Expedition possible," Vescovo said in a statement. "It took us over four years to go from embracing the general mission to dive to the bottom of all the world's oceans—something no government or organization has ever attempted—to building this amazing diving system and then actually doing it. I still can't quite believe I had the great privilege of getting to pilot the sub down to all these places where no one has gone before. Who says there is nothing left to explore on this planet? There is plenty to explore, and learn, in the oceans."
The mission drew national attention in May when Vescovo completed the deepest manned dive ever, reaching the bottom of the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench at some 35,853 feet. There, he not only discovered three new species of marine creatures, but also reportedly spotted man-made plastic trash.
Overall, the expedition lasted from December 2018 to September 2019 and covered over 46,000 miles. Taking more than 100 deep-sea deployments at 13 locations, Vescovo's team discovered more than 30 new underwater features and mapped over 300,000 kilometers of seafloor. That included trips to the bottom of the Puerto Rico Trench (the deepest point in the Atlantic Ocean), South Sandwich Trench (the deepest point in the Southern Ocean), Java Trench (the deepest point in the Indian Ocean) and the aforementioned Mariana Trench. Caladan Oceanic, a private marine tech company owned by Vescovo, sponsored the trip.
Vescovo will have a tough time topping this feat, the latest in a string of accomplishments: He served 20 years in the US Navy Reserve and retired as a commander, scaled the highest peaks on each continent, and skied 100 kilometers to visit the North and South Poles—earning the "Explorer's Grand Slam" and this author's designation as the most interesting man in private equity.
At Insight Equity, Vescovo serves as a managing partner specializing in the aerospace, defense and electronics sectors. He serves on the board of four portfolio companies in those areas, and alongside another Insight partner, has the most invested in the firm's latest flagship fund, which closed on $639 million in 2015.
Featured image courtesy of the Five Deeps Expedition