ABOARD XIANGYANGHONG 09, June 15 (Xinhua) -- When back on the mother ship after a dive into the deepest place on the planet, three Chinese sea drivers were welcomed with a bucket of water splashing over head as an especial way to celebrate their safe return.
Ye Cong, Cui Weicheng and Yang Bo steered China's manned deep-sea submersible, the Jiaolong, to 6,671 meters deep in the Mariana Trench Friday, a national record far surpassing the 5,188-meter one it set last July.
The crew members, who had got out of the Jiaolong vessel, were waving the national flag and sending best regards to the motherland.
The dive went smoothly and took about 3 hours for the submersible to reach the depth of 6,671 meters at noon time (0200 GMT).
The trio wished China's Shenzhou-9 spacecraft scheduled for launch on Saturday a success from 6,055 meters under the sea.
The dive, which began at 9 a.m. local time (2300 GMT Thursday), is the first of a series of six scheduled ones to attempt the country's deepest-ever 7,000-meter manned dive.