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Ahmed Gabr (right) with support divers Jaime Browne (left) and Khalid Helmy (center). (Photo courtesy of H2O Divers Dahab/Jenny Lord.
Ahmed Gabr (right) with support divers Jaime Browne (left) and Khalid Helmy (center). (Photo courtesy of H2O Divers Dahab/Jenny Lord.

Egyptian Eyes Guinness World Record in Scuba Diving

Ahmed Gabr attempting to become the first to dive to 350 meters
by Kate Durham

Technical diver Ahmed Gabr doesn’t want to just set a world record: He wants to shatter it. The Guinness World Record for Deepest Scuba Dive in Sea Water is 318m, set near Dahab’s Blue Hole in 2005. On September 18, Gabr will attempt to descend to 350 meters in the waters off South Dahab.

The dive will take approximately 14 hours, of which less than half an hour will be spent reaching Gabr’s target depth. The rest of the dive involves ascending gradually with lengthy stops at specific depths to allow his body to safely eliminate gasses built up in his blood under the extreme water pressure — equivalent to up to 35 atmospheres on his body. Dan Goodman, of H2O Divers Dahab, says that the record attempt has to be run “like a military operation,” as it involves a team of 14 support divers and some 90 tanks of varying gas mixes.

Preparation for the record attempt has been ongoing for more than a year, with multiple training dives to help Ahmed build up to his target depth and test the support systems. In June, he reached 220m in a dive that took 7.5 hours. For the record attempt, Gabr will wear three different dive computers to record his depth and also retrieve pre-positioned tags on his descent line to verify his maximum depth. While his personal target is 350m, anything past 318 qualifies for a new record.

 

Fundraiser Competition offers prizes to donors

To offset the cost of the world record attempt, the team set a fundraising goal of 15,000 pounds sterling via the crowdfunding site GoGetFunding. Donors are automatically entered into a tombola with top prizes including five free days of dives guided by one of the World Record Team members and a X-Deep Stealth Side-Mount Kit. The prize draw will be carried out after Gabr’s safe return and the Guinness World Record representative certifies the record.

The Deepest Dive world record attempt is also sponsored by H2O Divers Dahab, National Bank of Egypt, Diving Emergency Center Organization (DECO) International and Sprite.

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