Deepest underwater habitat
Last updated: May 16, 2018 at 16:54 pm
185 m (610 ft) — SEALAB III, February, 1969, San Clemente Island, California (USA). The main purpose of SEALAB III was to develop technology that would permit divers to operate at extreme depths after exiting a submarine. Some of the experiments conducted during SEALAB remained classified till 2002 when it was revealed that in 1971, divers using SEALAB techniques successfully retrieved Soviet test missiles. The divers were deployed from a submarine carrying a pressure chamber welded to its deck, the USS Halibut, in the Sea of Okhotsk. They also tapped several underwater communications cables (Operation Ivy Bells) that ran from the Soviet submarine base at Petropavlovsk to Fleet headquarters near Vladivostok. The SEALAB program was terminated after a man was killed in a rebreather accident while making repairs to a leak. No new habitats were built by the U.S. Navy.
Hellwarth, Ben. 2012. Sealab: America’s Forgotten Quest to Live and Work on the Ocean Floor. New York: Simon & Schuster.
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Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.