U.P. Scientist, first to reach 3rd deepest place on Earth

Scientist Deo Florence Onda will become the first Filipino to reach the bottom of the third deepest place on earth as he travels to Emden Deep located in the Philippine Trench just off the coast of Surigao.

Left: University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute professor Dr. Deo Onda is now onboard the DSSV Pressure Drop, the only marine vessel in the world capable of launching the deep-sea submersible DSV Limiting Factor (in photo) that can carry humans and repeatedly dive to the deepest parts of the world’s oceans. Photo courtesy of Deo Onda.

Onda joins explorer Victor Vescovo in the record-breaking exploration.

Victor invited Dr. Onda to a once in a lifetime opportunity for the two of them to set a world record as the first humans to reach the bottom of the Philippine Trench. 

“And I think it is just appropriate that a Filipino would actually be part of that expedition, to hold that record, at least for the Emden Deep in the Philippine Trench.”

Dr. Deo Florence Onda is a young microbial oceanographer and associate professor at the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines. A champion for the rights of fellow Filipino scientists, he also advocated for the continued study of the ecosystems in the West Philippine Sea.

IMG SOURCE: Marine Science Institute Facebook

“Nakita na natin ‘yung kayamanan ng Pilipinas mula sa West Philippine Sea, nakita na natin yung bagong yaman natin sa Northeastern Philippines, ang Benham Rise. Baka ngayong pagkakataon, mas mapalalim natin yung appreciation natin para sa Philippine Trench, na actually parte ng Pilipinas,” Onda said.

The mission will last for 12 hours, 4 hours going down, 4 hours at the bottom and another 4 hours to return. 

Once their mother ship, the DSSV Pressure Drop, reaches the vicinity of the Philippine Trench, it will try to locate the Emden Deep and launch the Limiting Factor somewhere above it. Deo and Victor will be the only two people inside the small watercraft.

Source: ABS-CBN News

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