Russian Mir mini-subs begin Lake Geneva exploration

Russia’s Mir-1 and Mir-2 self-propelled deep submersibles began on Tuesday a scientific expedition at Lake Geneva, diving to a depth of almost 300 meters in one of western Europe’s largest lakes, Swiss media reported.

The submersibles dived for 40 minutes to a depth of 296 meters in the middle of the lake, between The Swiss city of Lausanne and the French town of Evian.

“The dive was successful despite low visibility,” Russian scientist Anatoly Sagalevich, who leads the expedition, was quoted by Swiss media as saying. “We saw the wreckage of the Rona steamer and several fish.”

The expedition at Lake Geneva involves more than 20 Russian, French and Swiss scientists, including Swiss balloonist Bertrand Piccard and prominent U.S. oceanographer Don Walsh.

In 2008, 2009 and 2010 the Mir-1 and Mir-2 submersibles explored Lake Baikal in East Siberia to study the flora and fauna, hydrothermal and volcanic activity, and seek more precise data on tectonic processes under the lake.

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