CAIRO (AFP) – Egyptian frogman Ahmed Gamal Gabr has broken the world record for the deepest scuba dive with a plunge into the Red Sea, the Guinness Book of Records said on Friday.
Gabr, a member of the special forces, reached the depth of 332.35 metres in 12 minutes but took almost 15 hours to return to the surface in order to avoid injury or illness.
The record was achieved Thursday at the popular Red Sea diving resort of Dahab, surpassing the previous mark of 318.25 metres set in 2005 by South Africa’s Nuno Gomez.
“I would like to confirm that the record for the deepest scuba dive (male) in Dahab, Egypt was successful and was achieved by Ahmed Gabr,” Talal Omar, a Guinness Book of Records judge told AFP in an email.
A team of hyperbaric doctors, French and Egyptian diving specialists aided Gabr in his feat by creating custom-made decompression tables and using more than 60 different diving tanks of several gases to keep him alive on his way back.
The team trained him for four years as the risks were enormous for the 41-year-old lieutenant colonel as his plan had been to reach a depth of 350 metres, organisers said.
At that depth water pressure reaches 35 kilos per square centimetre amid risks such as nitrogen narcosis and high pressure neurological syndrome (HPNS), which killed former world record holder American Sheck Exley.