New Longest Salt Water Dive Record Set
On September 18, 2014 while Ahmed Gabr was attempting the world’s deepest dive, around the other side of the world, Allen Sherrod was challenging the Guinness World Record for the longest saltwater dive.Sherrod was at the same location, Nine Hundred feet off the coast of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, that he previously set that record in 2011. He lost it to a British diver Sean McGahern, who stayed submerged in the Mediterranean for 49 hours and 56 minutes in October of last year. Sherrod also holds the record set on September 11, 2011, for the longest open water fresh water dive at 120 hours, 14 minutes and 32 seconds.
The target set by Sherrod for his attempt was 55 hours. While this is only half the time he spent in his freshwater record dive, the salt water open water dives present many more hazards and harsh conditions to deal with. In his 2011 salt water record, current played a role and the support divers had a great deal of difficulties staying on station and changing the tanks. Sherrod was able to stay under for 51 hours, 4 minutes and 28 seconds to set a new Guinness World Record.
There were over 100 volunteers supporting the record attempt including 20 support divers. The site of the dive was just 900 feet off shore and local divers were encouraged to come out and say hi. Sherrod had designed a full face mask that had the ability to use underwater speakers for one way communications with his support divers. The face mask was also equipped with a cell phone and while underwater he gave some radio interviews with local media. It was reported that he took his iPhone with him as well. A device called The Scuba Capsule turns an iPhone into an underwater device. The case protects the iPhone from the underwater environment while a remote sensor feeds information to an app running on the phone. The set up turns the cell phone into a dive computer, provides tank pressure and depth information and other information typically found in a dive console on the iPhone's color screen. The device also allows the camera to work and lets Sharrod watch his favorite cartoon Sponge Bob.
Allen Sherrod and his wife Barbara live in Weeki Wachee Florida. Weeki Wachee is well known for its park and their mermaid show. Allen is a safety diver at the park and his wife recently retired from the mermaid show. Near the midpoint of the record attempt, the couple renewed their wedding vows in an underwater ceremony. The dive is being held at the same time as a mermaid gets together at the resort the dive originates from. Members of the bride’s party were wearing their mermaid tails. The group was also attempting to set a record for the largest underwater wedding and the largest numbers of mermaids at one time in salt water in fins. Those results have not been verified yet.