Scoop Deck has seen many titles on business cards — commander, director, secretary, chairman … but never one as good as the one we received today:
Scoop Deck spent an awesome morning with retired Capt. (Dr.) Don Walsh, pilot of the bathyscaphe Trieste, which recorded (by far) the deepest dive any man has made. More to come on that …
Also present was Sagalevich, Walsh’s Russian counterpart who later took Walsh to view the sunken remains of Bismark and Titanic. In fact, Walsh gives a very couteous nod to his good friend, calling him the “true leader in submersible science.”
Sagalevich, who holds the world record for the deepest fresh water dive at 5,371 feet, has been the director of the Russian Deepwater Submersibles Laboratory since 1979. He helped construct the MIR Deep Submergence Vehicle, has more than 300 submersions as chief pilot and led 28 expeditions including expeditions to Titanic, Bismarck, and the submarine Kursk.
On Aug. 2, 2007 he was the pilot of MIR-1 DSV, which reached the North Pole seabed. The subsequent territorial claims by Russia has caused some political rumblings, as Scoop Deck has reported, but the effort was the final push that resulted in Sagalevich being awarded the title Hero of the Russian Federation for “courage and heroism showed in extremal conditions and successful completion of High-Latitude Arctic Deep-Water Expedition” on Jan. 10, 2008.