Interview with a deep-sea submarine pilot

Marine biologist Al Dove recently went on an expedition to Brazil's Abrolhos reef, where he was part of a team that studied life in the depths where light begins to fade—an area called the mesophotic zone. To reach those twilight waters, Dove and his colleagues traveled aboard the Johnson Sea Link, a deepwater research submarine that seats a pilot and a passenger inside a five ft. diameter sphere made of clear acrylic.

In this video, Dove interviews the Johnson Sea Link's pilot, Don Liberatore, to find out how Liberatore ended up with such an amazing job.

You can also take a short tour of the Johnson Sea Link at Dove's blog.

Via Deep Sea News


  1. I’m curious about what, if any, practical advantages remain for using manned subs on that kind of mission in this age of remote exploration. Sure it’s awesome from an “adventure” perspective that we can get people down that deep, but if they can’t leave the sub anyway then is there anything they can do better than an ROV?

      1. The rear chamber of the JSL has not been used for divers in decades. The main benefit of using JSL lies at depths too deep for safe diving. The death of two men in the rear chamber long ago also influenced decisions as to usage.

  2. A submarine driver with the last name of Dove! Al dove the submarine 5000 ft and realized his last name has him continually living in past.

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