When you go scuba diving for the first time you are going to have to get some lessons or instruction before you actually dive. If you have gone to a PADI Certified diving school then one of the first things they are going to teach you is not to dive too deep. Not only is diving to deep or not surfacing properly dangerous it can even be fatal. Scuba organizations say that recreational divers like you should not exceed a dive of 130 feet. But one particular diver decided to ignore that advice and try for a world record. So what is the world’s record for deepest scuba dive? Read on and find out.
The diver who decided he was going to set the world record is none other than Ahmed Gabr. He didn’t just dive below 130 feet he went almost ten times that depth reaching a record dive of 1,090 feet! The dive was done into the Red Sea off the coast of Dahab in Egypt. The people from Guinness were on hand to establish the dive as record setting and the deepest dive ever. If you don’t how deep that is, imagine taking the Chrysler Building in New York City and turning it upside down into the sea…that’s how far down Ahmed dove. Here is a look.
Breaking the Record
The dive took place back in September of 2014 and it broke the previous record of 1,000 feet. It took Ahmed roughly 12 minutes to reach that depth but he spent the next 14 hours to come back to the surface. He first dove into the Red Sea at around 9 am and didn’t come back up until it was almost midnight. The 41 year old diver surfaced and was pretty jubilant about becoming the record holder saying he felt “unbelievable”. The dive took nine tanks of air and he spent most of his time decompressing on the way to the surface.
The Dangers of Deep Diving
Why are deep dives so dangerous? There are a number of different risks divers take when they go beyond the 130 feet. The first thing a diver has to worry about is equipment failure and with that drowning. The other big danger is decompression sickness or “the bends”, this can happen if a diver surfaces too quickly, this is why Ahmed took more than nine hours to surface from his dive.
Gabr has been diving for more than 17 years and took a full four years to prepare to break the world record.
Scuba diving is a great hobby that millions of people do every year all over the world. You get to see new species of fish and colorful plant life but what most people don’t do is hang out underwater for more than 2 days at a time.
That’s right that is now the world record for the longest saltwater scuba dive.
In July of 2015 the Egyptian scuba diver set a new Guinness World Record for the longest saltwater scuba dive, he stayed completely underwater for a total time of 51 hours and 20 minutes. Crazy…right! The record breaking dive took place at the Red Sea Resort just off of Hurghada, Egypt and he dove to a depth of about 33 feet or 10 meters, the water temperature was about 22C or if you prefer Fahrenheit that’s about 72F.
It should go without saying that you shouldn’t try this at home, but just in case…DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME. Dives like this take months if not years of planning and preparation and they are dangerous if you try them unprepared. You need to plan against hypothermia and decompression, even at a shallow depth of just 10 meters. Hafez made use of both a dry suit and a battery powered heating system to keep warm during the dive. Being immersed in water even relatively warm water can lower your body temperature quickly which is why these dives are so dangerous.
He planned his diet out ahead of time to make sure that blood sugar and blood chemistry stayed stable the entire time. This means he took energy drinks and meals through a straw while underwater.
A Little About Waala Hafez
This dive allowed him to beat the previous record dive set the year before of 51 hours and 4 minutes that was set by an American diver named Allen Sherrod. The first thing you need to understand is that Hafez was in peak physical condition, he is not someone who dives twice a year on a vacation. He is a pilot at the Suez Canal Authority and also spent time as a former special forces Navy Seal team leader. He is a self defense instructor and an IDEA master instructor. At 36 years old he is in incredible physical condition. The self-discipline from the special forces training was instrumental in making this feat possible.
Not only did Hafez want to complete the world’s longest dive and become a Guinness World Record holder, he had a secondary goal of promoting tourism in Egypt and in his words to “motivate Egyptian youth to use their skills, imagination and abilities to flourish in their own country.”