A scientist working at the University of the Philippines’ Marine Science Institute will become the first Filipino to reach Emden Deep, the third-deepest spot in the world located in the Philippine Trench.
Dr. Deo Florence Onda was invited by an organization called Caladan Oceanic to join its expedition, scheduled on March 22 to 28, the university announced yesterday.
Onda has started the expedition early this week from Guam onboard the DSSV Drop, from where the deep-sea submersible DSV Limiting Factor will come from. The vessel is the only one capable of carrying humans into the deepest parts of the oceans.
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Joining him in the expedition is American explorer Victor Vescovo, who holds the record for doing the deepest manned sea dive in history by venturing to the Challenger Deep in 2019.
“Deep-sea expeditions like this one are equivalent to the first early flights into outer space, thus it would be a major record-setting scientific and historic achievement. To date, most of these records are held by foreign scientists or explorers,” the university said in a statement.
“The Philippine Trench is a unique feature found within the EEZ (exclusive economic zone) of the Philippines, and it is only appropriate that a Filipino scientist be one of the first to hold this record in the Emden Deep,” the school added.
Onda will wave the Philippine flag when he reaches Emden Deep. Joining the expedition also gives the scientist the opportunity to be exposed to technologies that are “capable of deep-sea activities, which can enrich our experiences and knowledge as the Philippines builds its own National Academic Research Fleet,” a project of the Philippine government.
“This endeavor can spark interest and passion for many other young Filipinos who would want to make a career in the sciences and bring more attention to the protection, preservation, and conservation of the Philippine marine environment,” the university said.
All the best, Dr. Onda!
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