A manned Chinese submersible set a new record for the country's deepest sea dive at over 7,000 metres Sunday.
The Jiaolong submersible, named after a mythical sea dragon, dived 7,015 meters into the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean around 11 a.m.
The dive, the fourth since the submersible arrived in the area earlier this month, started at 7 a.m. Sunday in heavy rain.
In July last year, the Jiaolong broke through the 5,188-meter mark in an ocean dive, and have since succeeded in reaching the depth of 6,671, 6,965 and 6,963 meters in its previous three dives earlier this month.
China has previously said its submersible programme is aimed at scientific research and exploration of mineral resources on the deep seabed.