In 2019, Blancpain and the brand’s best friend Laurent Ballesta joined hands again to launch the fifth survey project of the Coelacanth Expedition Research Program. The expedition is planned for July this year in the Mediterranean waters off the French coast and will complete a new expedition. This expedition, or the first scientific expedition in history to attempt to combine saturation diving with scuba diving using closed-circuit rebreathers, aims to unravel the mystery of the Mediterranean, which is familiar but still full of mystery.
Marine biologist Lauren Ballesta is also a well-known underwater photographer and pioneer in the use of innovative diving equipment. Since 2012, with the support of Blancpain, he has done his best and actively carried out the scientific research project of ‘Coelacanth Expedition Research’. The project aims to help people deepen their understanding of the deep ocean ecosystems and explore areas where humans have not yet set foot. To date, Ballesta has led his team to complete four expeditionary research missions and carried out extended inspections on parts of the waters of Reunion Island, the Philippines and Polynesia. Therefore, it can be said that Lauren Ballesta has made a huge contribution to Blancpain’s ‘heart-to-ocean’ public welfare undertakings around the world.
Each Coelacanth Expedition Study is dedicated to exploring a scientific puzzle, conducting a diving challenge, and taking some unprecedented photos. The fifth expedition of the Coelacanth Expedition Study is no exception. In order to be able to carry out a series of scientific experimental programs commissioned by the research center in a limited time and clarify the deep ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea, the Coelacanth Expedition Research team pioneered the phase of saturation diving with scuba diving using closed-circuit respirators. Combined new diving style.
Saturation diving can support professional divers to work in the underwater environment. It works by connecting the diver to the surface through a circulating hose called an ‘umbilical’. This ‘umbilical’ will provide divers with breathing gas, and Make it possible to communicate with each other. In theory, divers using saturation diving have no limit on the time they can work underwater, but their range of movement is limited and they can only move within a few meters of their working area. Scuba diving, as the name suggests, allows divers to move freely, but by contrast, their work time is severely limited. In fact, if you want to spend a few minutes in extremely deep water, you must make decompression stops for up to several hours to prevent any possible diving accidents. The combination of saturation and scuba diving technology allows divers to stop without decompression during the expedition. This also made it possible for a four-day expedition before the end of the expedition. In this way, Lauren Ballesta and his three companions can conduct underwater exploration for up to 8 hours a day and achieve their great goals.
As usual, the fifth expedition of the Coelacanth Expedition Study will also be recorded as a feature-length documentary. In addition, related thematic exhibitions will be organized and written. By 2020, audiences from all over the world will be able to learn about what Lauren Ballesta and her team saw during the expedition through the above three methods. In this era of significant climate change and extinction of species, the discovery of a new and rich area that has not yet been damaged will undoubtedly bring great hope for humanity as a whole.