Monday, July 22, 2024

Deep Ocean Explorer Don Walsh Dead at 92


Retired US Navy Captain Don Walsh, who in the early 1960s was among the first to dive to the deepest part of the ocean, has died at the age of 92.

Walsh, alongside Swiss engineer Jacques Piccard, in January 1960 dove 11,000 meters/36,000 feet in the bathyscaphe Trieste to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the South Pacific Ocean.

He died on November 12th at home in Oregon, according to news reports.

Walsh’s son Kelly in June 2020 dove to approximately 10,925 meters (35,843 feet) in the Western Pool, the same area that was visited by Kelly’s father, who was the pilot of the Trieste during the first dive to the Challenger Deep in 1960.

The younger Walsh said of his dive:

“The leap in technology from 1960 is immense. Dad spent 20 minutes on the bottom and could see very little. I had the opportunity to spend four hours on the bottom with excellent lighting and a 4K camera running the whole time. We had complete control over our vehicle; great lighting, maneuverability and a comfortable cabin whereas Dad had none of those things. The ‘Limiting Factor’ is an amazing vehicle; a true platform for exploration and a credit to the ‘out-of-the-box’ innovation at Triton Submarines.”

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.