Press Release

October 2019 – The Pentarius project has set off on its 5 Oceans : 5 Missions exploration – a  widely encompassing journey from the West Coast of California and Hawaii across the Pacific to the marinas of China, Japan, the Philippine Sea and the Indian Ocean in the next year. Pentarius will explore the marine depths of earth’s waters: the overall goal is to do a deep dive on our oceans, sharing findings from below to inspire knowledge and action above the surface. 

The Pentarius project’s five missions are to: explore and document sea life in the major trenches particularly giant squid in the ocean depths, map and catalogue underwater munitions, find historic WWII wrecks, record the spread of microplastics in the oceans, and perform transects to study the geographical change in underwater landscapes. In each category this will be accomplished by collecting imagery and sampling at all depths for public dissemination and by using the platform’s visibility to amplify the project reach via port visits.


The project involves three main vessels: the mothership, the deep diving submersible Pentarius, and the shallow diving submersible Polaris. The mothership is a 125ft catamaran platform previously owned by the explorer Steve Fossett and once raced as the fastest sailboat around the world, modified to be the main platform for the project. The one-man submersible Pentarius was also commissioned and owned by Fossett, who was attempting to set the record of the deepest solo dive when he passed away. The project was taken over by Christopher Welsh: a West Coast businessman, winning racing sailor, and airplane pilot, who now leads the project. Pentarius has just acquired the two-man submarine Polaris, which will allow further exploration of the depths in the future, by a wider group of interested parties, through the Polaris Sub Club*.


The first expedition, the Western Pacific Expedition will take place over the next year and a half, having departed from Hawaii this month, aimed at exploring the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Guam, Nagasaki, Inchon, Okinawa, Shanghai, Naha, Xaimen, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. The mothership has just met Polaris and will be diving the Philippines this month before heading to China, where Polaris and the mothership will be on display and Chris will be speaking at the World Ocean Conference and the Xiamen International Boat Show.

Pentarius is a grassroots effort, the product of Chris and many others combining their mutual passion for the ocean with a combination of resources that will enable global projects to help inspire and drive change. The results will be shared openly; the objective is to make a difference in people’s knowledge of the sea and raise awareness of the real solutions available to make a positive impact on ocean, and global health.


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*The Polaris Sub Club has been formed for those interested in joining on underwater missions; its purpose is to open up the possibility of exploring life underwater to a wider audience, taking those to see the deeper depths who may never have envisioned the possibility. Based on experience gained in the shallow sub, club members would become candidates to operate the Pentarius submersible on deeper dives, if interested. For more information on the Sub Club, check out the Polaris Club page.

**The name Pentarius comes from five in Latin, ‘pent’, and Aquarius, the Greek god water carrier.