First dive at the North Pole
Last updated: December 26, 2017 at 21:10 pm
Dr. Joseph MacInnis (Canada), and Canadian Geological Survey divers Dr. Patrick McLaren and David Frobel – Although several recent expeditions have laid claim to being the first to dive at the North Pole, the first dives at the top of the world were conducted during the Arctic IV Expedition led by Dr. Joseph MacInnis in 1974. Ice thickness was over 2 m (6.5 ft). The objectives of the Canadian Geological Survey divers, which took part in Dr. MacInnis’ expedition in Resolute Bay and at the North Pole from April 19 to May 3, 1974, were (1) to obtain diving experience in Arctic water with a professional diving team; (2) to assess the feasibility of performing simple measurement and sampling techniques underwater; and (3) to make observations on sea ice and sediment pertinent to drift-ice geological processes.
“We are trying to change the consciousness of the Canadian people, and awaken them to the fact that almost half of their country is underwater, and it needs exploration, and management, and understanding. I do dramatic things to draw attention to the fact that we need this kind of exploration. We need to have young Canadians involved in this kind of challenge, and what better way to be able to do it than to pick the pinnacle of diving that is the North Pole.” — Dr. Joseph MacInnis | Arctic IV | National Film Board of Canada (1974)
McLaren, P., Arctic Diving Observations at Resolute Bay, N.W.T. and the North Pole. Geological Survey of Canada. 1974.
Arctic IV | National Film Board of Canada (1975). (Watch Arctic IV documentary)
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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.