Home News Scots woman and pal plunge 8000m in submarine and set new world record
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Scots woman and pal plunge 8000m in submarine and set new world record

Scots woman and pal plunge 8000m in submarine and set new world record
Scots woman and pal plunge m in submarine and set new world record

A esteemed scientist from Scotland, and her associate, have established a new world record for the deepest dive conducted by two women. Heather Stewart, a marine geologist hailing from Killin in Perthshire, descended 8,000m into the depths of the South Pacific Ocean aboard the submersible RV Dagon on April 16.

At 43 years old, Stewart was accompanied by her companion, submersible captain Kate Wawatai, from New Zealand.Heather Stewart and Kate Wawatai after their 8000m deep dive.

Besides achieving a new world record, the pair utilized the opportunity to gather precious data from an unchartered region of the globe’s oceans.
The duo’s daring venture into the ocean’s depths took them further than double the depth of the tragic Titanic sub which claimed the lives of Suleman Dawood, a 19-year-old student from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, his father Shahzada, and three other crew members as it sank to 3,500m in the Atlantic ocean last year.

Stewart shared her excitement and sense of accomplishment, “It’s incredibly thrilling to explore regions of the ocean that no one has visited before. Just prior to our dive, Kate pointed out we were the first-ever deep-diving female duo. It was surreal to realize we were about to set a new world record.”

It took the women three and a half hours to cover the 8000m depth. During their eight-hour stay at the bottom, they had the chance to explore the Nova Canton Trough, an undisclosed point in the world’s oceans. According to Stewart, the ocean is teeming with an impressive array of marine species, including gel-like Snailfish.”

The expedition wasn’t without its challenges. As temperatures plunge to a mere 1C inside the submersible, it can get quite cold. Furthermore, the dive site was far from their base in Samoa, requiring a four-day sail to reach.

As an advocate for women in science, Heather hopes her achievement encourages more young girls to consider careers in deep-sea exploration and marine science. She notes, “My daughters say they’re proud of me all the time which always brings a tear to my eye.”

Starting her deep-sea diving endeavours in 2019, Heather acknowledges the risks but prides in the thrill of venturing into the unexplored. “We want to see more young girls starting their careers in the industry. Progress is being made but change takes time.”

In a time when female representation in various industries is paramount, this adventurous duo from Killin and New Zealand has not only set an impressive record but has also paved the way for future female explorers in the city of Glasgow and around the world.

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