In service1953
StatusPreserved at the Toulon naval base
General characteristics
TypeDeep-submergence vehicle
Length15 m (49 ft)
Beam3.2 m (10 ft)
Draft6 m (20 ft)
Installed power1kW electric motor
Speed0.5 knots (0.93 km/h; 0.58 mph)
Test depth4,000 m (13,000 ft)

The FNRS-3 or FNRS III is a bathyscaphe of the French Navy. It is currently preserved at Toulon. She set world depth records, competing against a more refined version of her design, the Trieste. The French Navy eventually replaced her with the bathyscaphe FNRS-4[clarification needed], in the 1960s.[1]

After damage to the FNRS-2 during its sea trials in 1948, the Belgian Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) ran out of funding, and the submersible was sold to the French Navy, in 1950. She was subsequently substantially rebuilt and improved at Toulon naval base, and renamed FNRS-3.[2] She was relaunched in 1953, under the command of Georges Houot, a French naval officer.[3]

On 15 February 1954, she made a 4,050 metres (13,290 ft) dive 160 miles off Dakar, Senegal, in the Atlantic Ocean, beating the 1953 record of Auguste Piccard, set by the Trieste, by 900 meters.[2][4][5] Piccard's record had been set by reaching the floor of the Mediterranean off Naples, a depth of 10,392 feet (3,167 m).[4][6] The new record set by FNRS-3 was not exceeded until a workup dive by Trieste in 1959, working up to the record shattering Challenger Deep dive.[1][4]

See also


  1. ^ a b Paine, Lincoln P. (1997). Ships of the World. Houghton Mifflin. p. 188.
  2. ^ a b Encyclopædia Britannica, 2010 Online, 9 September 2010 (accessed 9 September 2010)
  3. ^ Benson, Keith R. & Rehbock, Phillip F. (eds) (1993). Oceanographic History: The Pacific and Beyond. University of Washington Press. p. 387.
  4. ^ a b c Paine, Lincoln P. (2000). Ships of Discovery and Exploration. Mariner Books. p. 64.
  5. ^ "Deepest Divers". Time. 1 March 1954. Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2009.
  6. ^ Heppenheimer, T. A. (Summer 1992). "To the Bottom of the Sea". American Heritage. Vol. 8, no. 1. Archived from the original on 3 December 2008.

43°06′13″N 5°55′33″E / 43.103609°N 5.925765°E / 43.103609; 5.925765