DEEP­SEA TAXI DRIVER Ye Cong,

Beijing Review - - THIS WEEK PEOPLE & POINTS -

one of the de­sign­ers and a pi­lot of Jiao­long, China’s first manned sub­mersible, was among the 100 Chi­nese cit­i­zens who were awarded the re­form pi­o­neer medal at an gath­er­ing cel­e­brat­ing the 40th an­niver­sary of re­form and open­ing up on De­cem­ber 18.

Born in 1979, Ye joined the China Ship­build­ing In­dus­try Corp. af­ter grad­u­at­ing from Harbin En­gi­neer­ing Univer­sity in 2002. He was ap­pointed one of the de­sign­ers to de­velop China’s first manned deep-sea sub­mersible in 2003.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing a ves­sel de­signer, Ye also vol­un­teered to be­come one of its pi­lots.

Cur­rently, there are eight cer­tifi­cated pi­lots who can in­de­pen­dently drive Jiao­long.

From 2009 to 2012, Jiao­long car­ried out 51 dives, 38 of which were pi­loted by Ye, who drove to depths rang­ing from 50 to 7,062 me­ters. It earned him the nick­name “deep-sea taxi driver.”

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