SYDNEY, May 15. /TASS/. Russian adventurer Fyodor Konyukhov plans to dive in a submersible to the Mariana Trench, long considered the deepest part of the world's ocean, he told TASS on Friday.
He will be accompanied by Russian lawmaker and polar explorer Artur Chilingarov, first vice-president of the Russian Geographic Society.
"If everything goes as planned, the submersible should be ready in 2017," said Konyukhov, currently in talks on the vessel's construction with Sydney, Australia-based Ron Allum Deepsea Services.
"In this case, we will be able to dive to the Mariana Trench in 2018," the traveller said. "But first we will dive to the Tonga Trench," the traveller said, explaining that while Mariana is traditionally considered the world's deepest, new theories suggest Tonga in the South Pacific could be even deeper.
"If we are lucky, we will be able to check this theory," he added.
Konyukhov recalled that only two piloted submersibles had previously managed to reach the bottom of the Mariana Trench, in 1960 and 2012.
First was the Italian-built bathyscaphe Trieste. Second was the submersible Deepsea Challenge, with Titanic and Avatar film director James Cameron aboard.
Konyukhov, 63, is considered one of the greatest living adventurers. He has scaled Mount Everest twice, crossed the Atlantic in a single rowing boat in 46 days and trekked on foot to both the North and South Poles.
From December 22, 2013 to May 31, 2014 Konyukhov crossed the Pacific, starting in Chile and finishing in Australia without entering port and with no external assistance. He covered the distance of more than 17,408 kilometres in a rowing boat in just 162 days.