Richard Branson To Join Personal Submarine Expedition To The Bottom Of The Blue Hole In Belize
Personal submarine technology is not new to most superyacht owners. In fact, most new superyachts being commissioned these days have dedicated space to store and launch a sub just like the do for all the other “toys”—speedboats, limousines, jet skis, and of course on the largest yachts, helicopter pads and a place to store the chopper belowdecks that every billionaire needs.
But as personal sub technology evolves, I’m hardly surprised to see a submarine manufacturer such as the British Columbia-based Aquatica Submarines team up with Ocean Unite co-founder and Virgin Group founder, and philanthropist Richard Branson, documentary filmmaker and ocean conservationist Fabien Cousteau(grandson of the Jacques Cousteau), and the Roatan Institute of Deep Sea Exploration (RIDE) for an expedition to the bottom of Belize’s Blue Hole in the coming months.
Aquatica has already enlisted a team of scientists, explorers and filmmakers collect scientific data, focusing on a complete sonar scan of the interior. And plans are for Branson and Cousteau to livestream from the bottom of the Blue Hole as well. Situated in the center of Lighthouse Reef off the coast of Belize, the Blue Hole is a giant marine sinkhole that is 1,043 ft in diameter and 407 ft deep. The Blue Hole is a part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System which is a World Heritage Site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
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In 1971, the site’s name was coined by oceanic explorer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau as one of the top five scuba diving sites in the world. And in the same adventurous spirit as Cousteau, the Aquatica mission is not just about feeding curiosity, but also about ocean education, conservation and scientific research.
The expedition is being led by Aquatica Submarines’ Founder and President Harvey Flemming, and the company’s Stingray 500 submarine will be one of the two submersibles that will participate in the expedition this fall.
Watch this space.