A SCHOOLBOY from Horwich was delighted when his poem was selected to be read out by an explorer in the deepest part of the ocean.

Astronaut and explorer Richard Garriott dived to seven miles below the surface to the Mariana Trench.

Prior to his expedition a poetry competition was launched by the National Association for the Teaching of English, asking pupils to submit a five line cinquain about the oceans, creativity of exploration.

Horwich Parish Primary pupil Jarl Nightingale, 11, was the winning entrant in his age group.

Richard read out the poem along with other winning entrants at the deepest point of the sea, Challenger Deep, inside a deep submergence vehicle the ‘Limiting Factor’.

He is the first explorer to visit all of Earth’s four furthest extremes, having been to both the North and South Poles, orbited the Earth, and now reached the deepest point of the sea, which is almost seven miles below the surface of the Pacific at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Richard said: “I enjoyed taking the student’s work down with me. The journey down was four hours in the cold and dark.

“The student poetry and artwork brought colour and creativity into the mission.

“I am hoping the returned artwork and signed poetry will be treasured and will be the basis for more stories about the value of creativity and exploration.

“Sadly some of the work I took was raising awareness of plastic pollution and even at the bottom of the sea there was evidence of plastic cables and rubbish.”

Jarl has been learning about explorers like Ernest Shackleton in the Antarctic while he has been home schooling with mum Ann Lloyd during lockdown.

He said: "I’m really interested in exploration and I’ve been learning about Earnest Shackleton.

“I had fun creating the poem. It was quite hard to do as it had to be so short.

"I am fascinated by the ocean and what creatures may be living down there.”