6 Guinness World Records for Scuba Diving

Another week, another record shattered. The Guinness Book of World Records goes through days like that.

Almost anything has a Guinness World Record, from the largest collection of rubber ducks to the biggest number of Big Macs ingested in a lifetime. The group that calls itself the world's foremost authority on records aspires to "make the amazing official." Guinness World Records encourage people to reach their full potential and gain pride in their accomplishments by utilizing all of the superlatives that the English language has to offer.

We felt it would be helpful to make an inventory of the current records in the fields of scuba diving and identify the individuals who now hold them because it seems like every year brings so many new record attempts, many of which are successful.

The Guinness World Records organization has compiled a list of the top current world records relevant to divers.

#1 Longest Underwater Human Chain

On Saturday, June 17, 2017 in Florida, the most current scuba diving-related Guinness World Record was established. The longest underwater human chain was created off the shore of Deerfield Beach by 240 scuba divers thanks to an event organized by Pavan Arilton of Dixie Divers in Deerfield Beach.

Divers removed fishing nets and other garbage from the underwater columns of the City Pier, a favorite location for divers and local fisherman, to kick off the two-day event. All divers had to hold hands or lock arms to make the unbroken chain, which wrapped around the pier and beneath a number of 3-D buoys. The 182 divers off the coast of Thailand who previously held the record were easily surpassed by the Florida divers at the end of 2016.

Watch the US Aerial Services film of the occasion to see some amazing drone footage.

#2 Deepest Saltwater Scuba Dive

Ahmad Gabr, a 41-year-old Egyptian dive instructor, set the record for the deepest scuba dive on September 18th, 2014, when he successfully completed a dive down to 332.35 meters/1,090 feet 4.5 inches.

Gabr spent countless hours working with his elite dive team to create a dive plan that would help him manage the risks involved with such a deep dive, including nitrogen narcosis, decompression illness (DCI), and high pressure nervous syndrome (HPNS), during the four years of training he undertook to prepare for this truly amazing feat. Finally, Gabr arrived at his target in the Red Sea, far from the Egyptian coast of Dahab, in just 12 minutes. He had to ascend for 14 hours because of the needs of the decompression. Gabr utilized a total of 9 tanks, the majority of which were tri-mix (a combination of oxygen, nitrogen, and helium gases required for technical dives deeper than 30 meters/98 feet), while his support team as a whole used 92 tanks. This remarkable accomplishment is "a testimonial to appropriate diving training and safety," according to Scuba Diving magazine.

#3 Longest Open Saltwater Scuba Dive

Male—Cem Karabay

After spending over a week underwater at a beach on the island of Cyprus in July 2016, a Turkish diver by the name of Cem Karabay beat his own record for the longest open saltwater scuba dive. Karabay used open-circuit scuba equipment while underwater for 142 hours, 42 minutes, and 42 seconds, or little under six full days. While on the dive, Karabay and his team came up with inventive ways to meet his basic nutritional and hydration demands. His diving friends also joined him to pass the time by playing games of football and checkers.

In addition to holding the record for the longest scuba dive in an enclosed space, Karabay is no stranger to long-distance dives. In order to set that record, he submerged himself in a pool for 192 hours, 19 minutes, and 19 seconds in October 2011 in the Activity Plaza of Cadde Bostan in Istanbul, Turkey.

Female—Cristi Quill

The record for the equivalently longest open-water dive by a woman belongs to Cristi Quill of Australia. Quill, an Australian who lost her mother to breast cancer, performed her world-record dive to support the 'Putting Cancer Under Pressure' campaign and raise funds for it. Off the coast of La Jolla beach, close to San Diego, California, Quill used closed-circuit scuba equipment to remain underwater for an astounding 51 hours, 25 minutes without any contact with the surface.

Watch the video of Cristi’s dive here.

#4 Highest Altitude Scuba Dive

Ern Tósoki, a Hungarian climber and scuba diver, holds the record for diving at the greatest height. He dived at the active volcano Ojos del Salado, which is located on the boundary of Chile and Argentina. It is the planet's tallest volcano. On the eastern slope of the volcano, at a height of 6,382 meters (20,938 ft), Tósoki fell into a permanent lake. He is the first person in recorded human history to successfully complete a dive above 6,000 meters (19,685 ft).

Achieving this record was extremely difficult considering the challenging circumstances and unknown effects of diving at such a high altitude, even if the dive itself only lasted 10 minutes and reached a generally ridiculous maximum depth of 2 meters/6 feet. With just one member of his support team, Tósoki was able to complete his mission while carrying all of the diving, communication, and medical supplies required for the expedition.

Here is a video, in Hungarian, about the dive.

#5 Most People Scuba Diving at Once

In August 2009, 2,486 divers participated in an event hosted by the Indonesian Navy at Malalayang Beach in Manado, Indonesia, which set a new Guinness World Record for the most divers diving simultaneously. Divers had to wait in long lines before they could dive down to the goal depth of approximately 15 meters/49 feet after being separated into 50 groups. The number of participants more than doubled the previous record of 958 divers, which was established in the Maldives in 2006 during a big group dive.

#6 Oldest Scuba Diver

Nonagenarian Ray Woolley recaptured the title of oldest scuba diver in August after coming to the surface after a 44-minute dive off the coast of Cyprus. He beat his own record at age 95 for the second year in a row, and he intends to do it again at age 96 the following year. For 58 years, Woolley has been diving.

Watch Woolley's dive in this video. 


Author: Ryan Patrick Jones, Photos Credit Guinness World Records, update by Todd Allen Williams

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