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Who Holds the Record for the Deepest Scuba Dive?

The Guinness World Records was the brainchild of Sir Hugh Beaver. In 1955, he published the book along with his co-founders Norris and Ross McWhirter. Today, the organization still continues to give out awards. But do you know who owns the world record for the deepest dive?

An Egyptian Special Forces officer, Ahmed Gabr, reached a depth of 1,090 ft. At 41 years old, he broke the Guinness World Records for the deepest scuba dive in the Red Sea. The previous record was at 1,044 ft.

Breaking the Deepest SCUBA Dive

On September 18, 2014, an Egyptian Army Colonel, Ahmed Gabr, took on the Guinness World Record for the deepest SCUBA dive in the Red Sea, off Dahab, Egypt. Gabr broke the 2005 world record set by Nuno Gomes, a South African diver. (Source: Guinness World Records)

Gomes set the 2005 record at 1,044 feet, also off the coast of Dahab. Gabr dove 1,090 feet, overtaking Gomes by 46 feet. For measurement, the difference between Gabr’s and Gomes’ dive is as long as a giant whale shark.

Gabr’s dive took just 12 minutes to complete and was measured by a specially tagged rope that accompanied him in the dive. A grueling fifteen-hour ascension replaced the short time to descend and beat the world record. Due to the depth Gabr reached, he had to ascend slowly to avoid any potential risks due to the different water pressure.

Gabr, a seventeen-year veteran diver and dive instructor, trained for four long years to achieve his success and submitted his intent to break the record to Guinness World Records on his third year of training. 

To date, Gabr is one of only six men to ever dive past 980 feet. Gabr is also a three-time Guinness World Record: deepest SCUBA dive, deepest sea dive, and in 2015 he mobilized 614 divers for the largest underwater clean-up. (Source: TDISDI)

Gabr’s Start in Diving

When Gabr was eighteen, he performed his first-ever dive during his open water course. He admired Jacques Cousteau, the French ocean explorer and co-inventor of the Aqua Lung. Cousteau made the Red Sea famous for his underwater filming, and when Gabr tried SCUBA, he was captivated by the beauty of the sea. (Source: TDISDI)

Gabr learned to dive while attending a military academy and continued diving off-time, becoming a diving instructor. His dive training gave him an edge in military school as he was able to pass intense physical fitness tests. He soon graduated from the Combat Diver Qualification Course at the Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West, Florida.

Allegations Claiming Gabr Faked the Dive

In 2020, a small team of technical divers who worked anonymously and used Scuba Sam took much effort to review and analyze the video footage of the dive and the publicly available information. (Source: The Scuba News)

The group claimed that Gabr’s team deceived everyone into believing he broke the record but had no intention of doing so. Upon receiving this anonymous tip and review, Guinness World Records conducted a comprehensive review of the 2014 dive. The inspection took place between September 2020 and January 2021, utilizing the expertise of the British Sub-Aqua Club. Guinness also reinterviewed the three independent witness divers.
It was determined that there was no conclusive proof that the record was faked or illegitimate. The investigation highlighted an opportunity for improvements regarding its procedures, which will ensure the legitimacy and clarity of record attempts. (Source: UW 360)

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