March 26 - ''Titanic'' film director James Cameron completes the world's first solo dive to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench in a specially-designed submarine. Travis Brecher reports.
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"Titanic" director James Cameron returns from the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
He's completed the world's first solo dive to the deepest-known point on earth.
After descending to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, southwest of Guam, in a specially designed submarine, Cameron safely returned to the surface at around noon local time.
The filmmaker had arrived at the underwater site known as "Challenger Deep" shortly before 8 am, reaching a depth of 35,756 feet - or roughly seven miles.
He spent about three hours at the bottom collecting research samples for marine biology and geology.
Cameron is the third person ever to reach the lowest point in the Mariana Trench.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) JAMES CAMERON, SAYING:
"It was bleak. It was like the moon. I kept thinking, man this is a long way down. You go past Titanic and then you go past Bismarck, then you go past where the Mirs (type of submarine) can go and then you're still only, you know, half way there or two thirds of the way there, it's crazy."
The expedition was a joint project by Cameron, National Geographic and watchmaker Rolex that's been dubbed "Deepsea Challenge".
While he is perhaps better known as the director of such films as "Titanic", "Avatar" and "Aliens", Cameron is no stranger to underwater exploration.
For "Titanic", he took 12 dives to the famed shipwreck in the North Atlantic.
He has since led another six expeditions.
Travis Brecher, Reuters
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