Deep sea submarine pioneer dies

Date: 2/12/2008

Swiss Marine explorer and inventor Jacques Piccard, died at his Lake Geneva home at the age 86. Jacques took part in what was probably the deepest submarine dive in history. In 1960 Piccard and US co-pilot Don Walsh took a submersible developed by his father to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific. They went 11km (seven miles) beneath the surface of the sea. Their discovery of living organisms at that depth led to a ban on the dumping of nuclear waste in ocean trenches. After the Mariana Trench dive, he worked for the US space agency NASA, exploring deep seas, and built four mid-depth submarines, including the first tourist submarine which he used to take passengers into the depths of Lake Geneva.

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