The two Russian MIR submersibles that dove to the bottom of Lake Baikal today did not reach the record depth of 1,680 meters (5,512 ft) as was first reported. Team leaders later confirmed that the subs had instead reached a maximum depth of 1,592 meters (5,223 ft).
The current record for the deepest freshwater dive (1,637 m / 5,371 ft) was set by Russian scientist Dr. Anatoly Sagalevitch in Lake Baikal aboard a Pisces submersible in 1990.
Today's attempt was lead by explorer and politician Artur Chilingarov who used the same submersibles to plant a Russian flag on the seafloor at the North Pole in August 2007.
Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia is home to over 2,500 species and is the deepest lake in the world at 1,741 meters (5,712 ft) - DIVING ALMANAC & YEARBOOK RECORD # 274 (p. 500).
The lake contains more than 20 percent of the world's freshwater reserves and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996.
MIR-2 submersible. Photo: OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP)