Seeing marine life from inside submersible vehicle

Seeing marine life from inside submersible vehicle

Slowly and steadily, we descend into the cool blue waters of Tioman.

The dive clock starts. Soon, we are about 20m below the surface and hovering above the sea bed.

We are not wearing dive suits, yet we are dry.

Under the supervision of conservationist and documentary film-maker Scott Cassell, I am exploring the depths of the sea from inside The Great White, a submersible vehicle.

The 4.3m long, 1.3 ton electric-powered twin-seater submersible can stay submerged for up to 10 hours in freezing waters.

What's remarkable is that it's home-made, mostly using recycled materials, by Mr Cassell and his project chief engineer, Scott Reed.

Together, they form the core of the Undersea Voyager Project, a non-profit organisation that aims to explore and understand man's influence on the oceans.

As part of watch-maker Luminox's Save The Seas ocean conservation programme, Mr Cassell's team came to Singapore late last month to spread the word about marine conservation, and The New Paper on Sunday was given a spin in The Great White on Sept 6.

The sub was named in memory of Spots, a great white shark Mr Cassell filmed for several documentaries off the California coast. It was eventually poached for its fins and teeth.

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