A SCIENTIST from the North-East has plunged to depths no other Brit has before.

Hexham resident Dr Alan Jamieson became the deepest diving Brit in history when he dived 7,180m in the Indian Ocean in a two-person submersible boat.

Dr Jamieson, who is a senior lecturer in marine ecology at Newcastle University, accompanied pilot Patrick Lahey, of America, in the record-breaking dive as part of a mission from the Five Deeps Expedition team to reach the deepest point of the Indian Ocean.

Following the dive, he is believed to be the first Brit to visit a hadal zone which relates to a zone of the sea greater than 6,000m in depth.

Dr Jamieson, the expedition’s chief scientist, said: “This was a big moment for hadal science and it really demonstrated the scientific capability of the submersible.

“It has now proven that we can do more, and access more places, than with any other marine vehicle in the world – including remotely-operated vehicles – at these extreme depths.”

It was a record-breaking visit to the bottom of the ocean all round for the team as deep sea pioneer, Victor Vescovo, became the first individual to complete three solo dives deeper than 7,000m.

The team also carried out the first manned descent below 2,000 metres in the Java Trench and the first descent to the absolute bottom of the 7,192m trench.

While at the bottom of the trench, they managed to capture footage of what are believed to be new species, yet unseen by humans.

From the sub a new species of hadal snailfish was observed while a gelatinous animal, thought to be a stalked Ascidean or sea squirt, which does not resemble anything seen before was discovered.

Dr Jamieson said: “Amongst many other rare and unique observations, the stalked Ascidean was a really significant moment. It is not often we see something that is so extraordinary that it leaves us speechless.

“At this point, we are not entirely sure what species it was, but we will find out in due course.”

The expedition was filmed by Atlantic Productions for a five-part documentary to be broadcast on the Discovery Channel later this year.

Up next for Dr Jamieson and the Five Deeps Expedition is the Challenger Deep within the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean.