UP scientist Deo Onda ready for historic 1st-ever human dive to Emden Deep

UP scientist Deo Onda  Emden Deep
University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute professor Dr. Deo Onda is now onboard the DSSV Pressure Drop, the only marine vessel in the world capable of launching the deep-sea submersible DSV Limiting Factor (in photo) that can carry humans and repeatedly dive to the deepest parts of the world’s oceans. Photo courtesy of Deo Onda.

University of the Philippines (UP) marine scientist Dr. Deo Florence L. Onda is ready for his historic first-ever human dive to Emden Deep, the 3rd deepest spot on Earth found in the Philippine Trench.

The microbial oceanographer of the UP Marine Science Institute was invited by the Caladan Oceanic organization to join the Emden Deep Expedition targeted to dive into the depths of the Philippines’ sea from March 22 to 28, 2021.

Caladan Oceanic is a private organization that has been setting records for the deepest manned descents in the world’s deepest trenches, with the most recent one in the Marianas Trench in 2019.

Dr. Onda will descend into the Emden Deep, approximately 10,400 meters or 34,100 feet deep, together with Victor Vescovo, the current record holder of the deepest manned descent in the Marianas Trench in 2019.

The Emden Deep dive will be done onboard the DSSV Pressure Drop, the only marine vessel in the world capable of launching the deep-sea submersible DSV Limiting Factor that can carry humans and repeatedly dive to the deepest parts of the world’s oceans.

UP MSI looks at the value of the upcoming deep sea dive of Dr. Onda as one the will wave the Philippines’ flag in the seas of the nation:

“Deep sea expeditions like this one are equivalent to the first early flights into outer space, thus it would be a major record-setting scientific and historic achievement. To date, most of these records are held by foreign scientists or explorers. The Philippine Trench is a unique feature found within the EEZ of the Philippines, and it is only appropriate that a Filipino scientist be one of the first to hold this record in the Emden Deep.

“Part of the goal is to wave the Philippine Flag in the Emden Deep during its record-setting voyage, highlighting that it is an integral part of our nation’s heritage.”

The country’s premier state university also sees the Filipino scientist’s deep sea dive as an opportunity to encourage careers in the sciences:

“Dr. Onda, as the sole Filipino researcher representing the country, will also be given a unique opportunity to be exposed to state-of-the-art vessels capable of deep-sea activities, which can enrich our experiences and knowledge as the Philippines builds its own National Academic Research Fleet (NARFleet), an ongoing national project funded by the Philippine Government. This endeavor can spark interest and passion for many other young Filipinos who would want to make a career in the sciences and bring more attention to the protection, preservation, and conservation of the Philippine marine environment.

Dr. Onda is now onboard the DSSV Pressure Drop and will start the voyage from the port of Guam to the Philippine Trench. This activity has been fully coordinated with the Philippine Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and is considered a non-Marine Scientific Research (MSR) activity.

In 2019, UP alumna and marine geophysicist Jenny Barretto discovered the world’s largest caldera within the Philippines’ Benham Rise. In 2020, UP professor Antonia Tanchuling was hailed by the World Bank as a protector of the Philippines’ oceans.

SEND MABUHAY CHEERS in the comments below to UP scientist Deo Onda for his upcoming historic first-ever human dive to Emden Deep in the Philippine Trench, the 3rd deepest spot on Earth!

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Aurora Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.