Jacques Piccard mede his last dive at the age of 52.He came from a daring family that inherits a sense of curiosity and perseverance with respect for others as a guiding principle to its dessendants.
Swiss deep sea explorer and inventor Jacques Piccard, who holds the record for travelling to the deepest point underwater, died Saturday at the age of 86, a statement said.
"One of the last great explorers of the 20th century, a true Captain Nemo who went deeper than any other man, Jacques Piccard passed away on Saturday, ... at his home on the edge of his beloved Lake Geneva," it said.
Piccard, who was born in Brussels, together with Don Walsh reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 10,916 metres (35,813 feet) below sea level on January 23, 1960 -- the farthest point underwater.
He also witnessed living organisms at a depth of over 11,000 metres below sea level, a discovery that led to a ban in nuclear waste dumping into the ocean.
Exploration ran in the Piccard family. Jacques' physicist father, Auguste, was the first man to take a balloon into the stratosphere and his son, Bertrand, was the first man to fly a balloon nonstop around the world.
Jacques Piccard helped his father invent the bathyscaphe, a vessel that allows humans to descend to great depths.
On Jan. 23, 1960, he and U.S. Navy Lt. Don Walsh took the vessel into the Pacific's Mariana Trench and dove to a depth of 35,800 feet — nearly seven miles (11 kilometers) below sea level. It remains the deepest dive ever carried out.
He created the Foundation for the Study and Protection of Seas and Lakes in the French-speaking town of Cully. He lived in the town of La Tour-de-Peilz, between Vevey and Montreux
"There is still so much to do before I die," he said on his 80th birthday, and would continue to design and supervise construction of his submarines for two more years. He made his last dive at the age of 82.