Avatar director Cameron celebrates birthday on bottom of Lake Baikal
The director of the blockbusters Avatar and Titanic, James Cameron, celebrated his 56th birthday on the bottom of the world`s deepest freshwater lake on Monday.
Cameron arrived at Lake Baikal in Siberia on Sunday in order to dive to the bottom of the lake in one of the research Mir submersibles.
"James Cameron dove to the bottom of Lake Baikal in the south near Cape Tolsty on the Mir-1 piloted by Anatoly Sagalevich," the press service spokesman for the foundation for preservation of Lake Baikal said.
The spokesman said Cameron had already submerged over 200 meters (656 feet) over the last three hours. The crew plans to explore the shoreline.
Cameron is joined on board the Mir-1 submersible by an Australian explorer from Arctic 2007, Michael MacDowell, and the author of the book that sparked Cameron`s movie blockbuster Avatar: A Confidential Report on the Biological and Social History of Pandora, Maria Wilhelm.
This is not the first time Cameron has been on one of the Mir submersibles. He worked with the Mir`s crew when filming his 1997 blockbuster Titanic, using the Russian vessels to examine and film the sunken ship.
The administration of Buryatia on Thursday told RIA Novosti that Cameron was arriving on a private visit and requested his arrival not be highlighted in the media.
Scientists have so far fixed the maximum depth of the lake at 1.68 kilometers (5,511.81 feet), and each dive on a submersible costs some 2 million rubles ($64,800).
Several politicians and celebrities have made dives to the bottom of the lake, the latest being Russia`s Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin in August, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last year. In mid-July Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj became the first president to dive to the bottom of the lake.
In July, Putin promised a billion rubles for conservation of the lake.