Scuba World Record Set for Deepest Dive
September 18, 2014 saw Ahmed Gabr, diving in the Red Sea off the coast of Dahab (Egypt), making an attempt to break the world record for the deepest dive in saltwater. The record was being held by South African Nuno Gomez at 318.25 meters, who also made his record attempt of the coast of Dahab. The depth of the water at the record attempt site was quoted at 615 meters.
Ahmed Gabr was targeting 350 meters for his record attempt. At that depth the pressure of the water would exceed 35 kilograms per square inch. His breathing would have to over come that pressure. While he did not meet his target depth he did grab the 335 meter marker. Judges from the Guinness World Book of Records had deployed a line with markers set at intervals starting with a world record depth of 320 meters. The descent line and a decompression ladder was supported by an pyramid shaped float designed to support the weight of all the equipment and the weight attached to the support line.
After the dive, the judges determine that the official depth was 332.35 meters. The slight difference is due to curves in the line cause by currents. Ahmed Gabr had originally planned to attempt the record in 2010, however the unstable political situation at the time caused him to abandon an attempt then. He trained for over 2 years for this attempt and had been making training dives to 200 meters.
Gabr, a retired military officer, entering the water at 10:30 AM wearing a quad tank arrangement. Rough surface conditions had caused a short delay in the preparation of the dive. He entered the water with support team members, and a safety diver descended with him to 110 meters.For the next hour the diver waited for Gabr's return. The total descent time was just over 12 minutes but a number of safety stops slowed the return. When he arrived back at the 110 meter safety stop, his support diver sent a message to the surface that he was back at 110 meters. Overall 20 divers supported his decompression protocol. Helping him replace the 60 cylinders that he used at around 30 safety stops.His last safety stop at 3 meters required 118 minutes. He returned to the surface at 12:20 am an almost 14 hour dive.
Gabr was helped to the boat by the support team and after removing his equipment was able to walk into the boat's salon to be examined by the team’s two hyperbaric doctors.