The Ventures of Victor Vescovo

The Ventures of Victor Vescovo

Allie Rial, Staff Reporter

Exploring the depths of the ocean and reaching the peaks of the highest mountains have been impressive feats achieved by only a few individuals. One such explorer is Victor Vescovo. As a retired US Navy Commander, Vescovo has spent time seeking out the bottoms of each ocean and has contributed many discoveries to the scientific world such as finding up to 40 new animal species. 

Recently, another great discovery was made by this courageous adventurer. He achieved the deepest shipwreck dive in history, noted Julia Zaltzman of Robb Report, and became the first to lay eyes on the USS Johnson after it sank in WWII. With a dive of 21,180 feet, Limiting Factor was able to film and photograph the wreck on March 31 in order for naval historians to hypothesize and gain new insight into which ship sunk it and other details about the battle. It took four dives in total to find the ship. On the first attempt, the team wasn’t able to locate it, the second had a minor issue that prevented the submersible from being able to dive, the third one used sonar to find the ship and the fourth took photos, Vescovo described.

Previously, Paul Allen and Robert Kraft discovered pieces of this wreck in 2019 with the R/V Petrel, but Vescovo was able to find the “bow, bridge, and midsection”, reported Zaltzman, because the Limiting Factor does not have a depth limit. This opens up the possibility for more deep dives into the oceans as Vescovo expressed. “We’ve just started to open the door,” he said, in reference to seeking out three other wrecks involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Victor Vescovo in 2019 “became the first person in history to have been to the top of all the world’s continents, both Poles, and the bottom of all its oceans,” writes Robb Report. With such great achievements already, it will be interesting to watch what he discovers next. To learn more about his adventures, Discovery+ features him in the show Expedition Deep Ocean.