Alvin Makes Its Deepest Dive Ever

Courtesy Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

WOODS HOLE – The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution-operated (WHOI) deep-sea research vessel Alvin made its deepest ever dive recently.

On Thursday, July 21, Alvin reached a depth of almost 4 miles. The dive took place in the Puerto Rico Trench north of San Juan.

Crew members aboard for the dive included WHOI pilot Anthony Tarantino, WHOI mechanical engineer Fran elder, and Mike Yankaskas with Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

The historic dive comes as the vessel tries to get certification from the U.S. Navy to pick up operations again after a year and a half of work to increase its dive rating.

Alvin’s previous dive rating was 4,500 meters. Its new limit is 6,500 meters, with the recent dive reaching a depth of 6,453 meters. 

The Alvin team spent the last few months making repairs to the submersible and getting it ready for tests to prove it could safely function at the new levels.

WHOI officials are hopeful Alvin will be able to return to service after its expedition leaving from Puerto Rico on Monday, July 25 which will demonstrate it’s capable for research outings.

With the increased range, Alvin can now reach 99% of the seafloor. The vessel is used to perform roughly 100 dives a year for scientific missions.

Alvin made one of its most famous dives when WHOI scientist Robert Ballard used it to study the wreck of the Titanic.

By Brian Engles, NewsCenter

About Brian Engles

Brian Engles is a longtime local of the Cape. He studied Film & TV at Boston University and in addition to his role at Cape Cod Broadcasting Media, he also works as a music instructor and records original songs.
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