World Record Dive - Behind The Scenes
Ahmed Gabr wants to smash the world record for the deepest scuba dive - a task that takes a lot of planning and preparation. Here's a look behind the scenes as the bid takes shape
Next month Ahmed plans to smash the current deepest dive world record of 318m (held by Nuno Gomez) with a dive to 350m. His attempt has been assessed and accepted by the Guinness Book of Records who will be adjudicating the dive on 18 September in Dahab.
The extreme dive will take 14 hours, and use about 90 tanks, for both Ahmed and his in-water support team of 14.
At this stage, predive, no information is being released on the dive plan and gas mixes that will be used. Once the dive has been undertaken it is hoped that knowledge and learning from the dive can be provided to the diving community.
Organising 90 tanks - making sure the right tank is in the right place, to be used by the right person - is a major operation. A system has been designed to ensure that the team knows to whom each tank belongs and what mix and maximum operating depth they can be used at. We also label who is carrying what tanks for Ahmed, or at which depth each stage should be lashed to the deco ladder or the line itself. This allows the team on the day to easily identify the tanks and prepare the stages that are pre-placed.
The deco ladder
This is 3m wide and has pipes at 3m intervals from 3 to 30m. The deco ladder is tied to the actual dive line. Once Ahmed gets to this stage of the decompression, it allows two divers to hang with him on the ladder to easily monitor Ahmed. It also allows us to leash the deco stages at the correct depth in advance of Ahmed starting the dive. The right side of the deco ladder is designated for Ahmed and the left side of the deco ladder for the dive team, this again allows the divers to be clear about which stages are for which member of the dive support team or for Ahmed.
This provides a stable environment for the actual dive line. It’s the mooring point for the dive line and also allows us to move the line should this be necessary during the dive due to weather conditions. It also means we can bring it nearer to the shore towards the end of the dive when Ahmed is at the shallower decompression levels. The dive line has been measured independently by a professor at the University of Cairo for stress, bend and tension.
We can’t guarantee that dive computers will work to the depth that Ahmed is going to – no one has gone to that level before. So for the dive itself Ahmed will be using three dive computers and will be collecting a tag at the deepest point. These tags will be attached and signed by independent witnesses who are not part of the dive team.
FOOD & DRINK
We have had to consider how all the divers are going to drink and eat throughout the dive. All the divers will have rehydration bladders on their tanks and bananas to eat. This will reduce the risk of dehydration, and help keep motivation levels up
Ahmed will have lights attached to his helmet to be able to see even at 350m (where very little light from the surface is visible).
We are going to remove the quads that he will be descending with and replace them with a lighter and more comfortable dive kit for the many hours that he continues in deco. The plan is to lift the quads off Ahmed in water, and replace them with the xdeep sidemount kit. This is mainly for comfort as the quads are extremely heavy for Ahmed to carry for the whole duration of the dive.
For more information visit www.h2odiversdahab.com/world-record
To support Ahmed and his team, please visit http://gogetfunding.com/project/the-worlds-deepest-dive-350m