The best diving records in the world – Limits under water

Diving Records: Where bravery meets depth, and endurance challenges boundaries.

Turkish diver Cem Karabay set a new world record for the longest open water dive in cold water
On the 24th of April 2020, a Turkish diver Cem Karabay set a newworld record for the longest open water dive in cold water

In this underwater journey, we’ll explore Guinness diving records that have taken water adventurers to extraordinary levels.

From uncharted abyssal trenches to impressive feats of endurance, this list highlights moments when divers went beyond the ordinary to conquer the depths of the ocean and etch their names in the history of records.

Let’s discover together the epic diving records that have taken humans to the most astonishing depths of our oceans, defining the pinnacle of excellence in this thrilling water sport.

How many types of diving records exist?

There are different types of diving records. The first one we usually think of is the deepest dive.

Turkish Şahika Ercümen broke
The world champion of free apnea, the Turkish Şahika Ercümen broke the world record for women’s free diving by diving to a depth of 65 meters in 1 minute 58 seconds in Lake Salda in Yeşilova-Turkey

However, there are many others as well. Interesting!

Some of them are divided into female and male category.

Others are divided depending on the type of equipment used and some depend on the age of the participant.

Obviously, most of the records require exceptional skill but there are also some that are extremely curious and that probably no one had tried before.

The truth is that there are a large number of categories and more will continue to appear over time.

The deepest dive made with diving equipment: Ahmed Gabr

Ahmed Gabr made the deepest dive with scuba gear on September 18, 2014 at a depth of 332 meters or 1090 feet.

Special officer Egyptian Army Ahmed Gabr
Special officer Egyptian Army Ahmed Gabr has spent 17 years as a diving instructor

During an interview Ahmed said that he was curious about how deep a person could go. He tried to find an answer in different sources like books and theinternet but he could not find anything that made him feel satisfied so he decided to try it for himself.

You can see the full interview at the following link:

Video- Ahmed Gabr’s record breaking deep dive (332m)

Of course, this was not an easy task and he required more than four years of preparation to make a dive that took him only 15 minutes to descend but more than 13 hours to ascend to the surface.

In diving, the difficult thing is not to go down but to go up, since the enormous pressure that the diver experiences, and requires a slow ascent to allow the gases to escape from the body without forming deadly bubbles.

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Egyptian army special officer Ahmed Gabr
Egyptian army special officer Ahmed Gabr spent 17 years as diving instructor before winning the Guinness record

Ahmed was able to accomplish this feat as he is a highly trained and physically capable diver.

Something that is striking is that during a good part of the dive he was surrounded by beautiful oceanic whitetip sharks “Carcharhinus longimanus” which, according to the diver, “came to congratulate him” on his feat.

The previous depth record had been established by the South African Nuno Gómez and was nothing more and nothing less than 318 meters or 1043 feet.

In this same act Ahmed Gabr broke two different records: The deepest dive in the sea and the deepest dive in the male category.

The longest dive in the sea male category: Cem Karabay “longest open-water scuba dive”

Cem Karambay and his team
Cem Karambay and his team during the record breaking dive (Photo: Cem Karambay)

The Turkish diver Cem Karabay broke this record on July 20, 2016 and took a time of 142 hours, 42 minutes and 42 seconds.

This new Guinness World Record was set in Girne, Cyprus on the Mediterranean Sea and was made to commemorate the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

After being asked how deep a diver can go, the next logical question is for how long.

Our friend Cem Karabay, known as “the aquatic man,” answered this question on different occasions as he has beaten his own record several times: in 2009, 2011, 2015.

To be able to stay underwater for almost 6 days you must not only be in excellent physical condition but also mental condition.

You need patience, a lot of it! To achieve this, Karabay kept himself busy playing backgammon, riding a stationary bike and even playing soccer with his team. He also received food and some massages to keep his body working properly.

He also managed to sleep for several hours every day.

During 2011 Karabay also broke a record for “longest scuba dive in a controlled environment” when he spent 192 hours in a pool in Istanbul. If there is one thing we can be sure of, it is that he had a lot of patience to stay underwater.

You can see the video of the 4th Guinness World record of him at the following link:

Cem Karabay 4th Guinnes World Record

The longest dive in the sea female category: Cristi Quill

A major accomplishment for Cristi was her Longest Open Saltwater SCUBA dive achievement (female).

Cristin Quill reaches new depths
Inspiring stories of commitment-Cristin Quill reaches new depths for cancer

San Diego California diver Cristi Quill broke this record on July 11, 2015 by spending 51 hours and 25 minutes at a depth of 20 feet.

Cristi became a diver at a young age and being underwater was always one of her favorite activities.
However, the idea of ​​breaking this record came about while she was talking with her sister about how best to honor the memory of theirr mother, who a few months ago lost the battle against cancer.

Cristi’s brothers suggested participating in a marathon for cancer research.

That wasn’t enough for her though! She replied “I’m a diver, I dive-I don’t walk.”

Cristi Quill sets Guinness World Record for diving
Cristi Quill sets Guinness World Record for diving

After doing some research on the subject, she realized that no woman had set this record. That’s when she decided to be the first.

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With a lot of emotion, she formed the “amazing team” with some of her friends.

After a period of six months of training she achieved her feat that served not only to honor her mother but to take another step towards equality between men and women.

At the same time, she collected $4,500 which was used for research to fight cancer.

You can see the video of Cristi’s dive at the following link:

Video- Longest Open Saltwater Scuba dive (female) Guinness World Records

The underwater bike ride. The Deepest and Longest / Vittorio Innocente

On July 21, 2008, Vittorio Innocente, at 68 years of age, broke his own Guinness record for underwater bicycle riding and achieved it at a depth of 66 meters.

This took place in Liguria, Italy on the Mediterranean Sea.

Vittorio Innocente in 2008
Vittorio Innocente in 2008 at 68 years of age pedaling in the depths of the sea

At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that there are different categories or ways to break a record and this is undoubtedly one of the most original.

Vittorio has broken two different underwater bicycle records: One is for the deepest and the other for the longest ride, which was 1,200 meters

In order to stay at the bottom of the ocean our friend attached 35 kilos of ballast to his bike and filled his tires with water instead of air.

With his feat Innocente tried to raise funds for the fight against cancer, however, he also tried something very interesting: some bicycles are truly all-terrain!

The oldest diver in the world / Bill Lambert

We have always said that diving is for all ages and it has been for this diver since the age of 10. Thanks to Bill Lambert we know for sure that, even at 100 years of age, it is possible to continue enjoying this beautiful activity.

On September 7, 2020, Bill dove into Pearl Lake in Illinois, United States at a depth of 12 meters achieving a bottom time of 27 minutes.

Bill Lambert getting out of a pool after hours of practice
Bill Lambert getting out of a pool after hours of practice

Previously this record belonged to Wallace Raymond Woolley who dived to 42 meters in 2019.

A curious fact about Lambert’s record is that he learned to dive at the age of 98 during a vacation in Cozumel.

Talking about what people should do in the world of diving, Lambert said: “They should try it. If they like it, pursue it.”
I think this is a record that many divers should try to achieve.

As expected, this record generated expectation and beautiful news that you can see at the following link:

Video-100 year old sccuba diver

It is important to emphasize that to be officially a dive, it must last for a period of at least 20 minutes. Both to break a Guinness record and to obtain your scuba certification.

The longest dive with a single tank / Jacobus Jacobs

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear from divers is how long can you stay underwater.

Of course, there is no answer to that question since it depends not only on how fast the diver breathes but on other factors such as the depth to which you want to go as well as the amount of air that the cylinder contains.

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Jacobus Jacobs scuba diving
Jacobus Jacobs scuba diving

On January 27, 2007, Jacobus Jacobs spent 8 hours 20 minutes and 38 seconds underwater breathing from a single cylinder filled with compressed air.

The cylinder size was 12 liters, the same as that used in most diving operations in the Americas.
It is important to remember that for a dive to count as such, it must be at least 5 meters deep.

The person who endured the longest time without breathing underwater / Budimir Šobat

Another of the most common questions that divers receive is: How long can you hold your breath underwater?

The reality is that the most important rule of SCUBA diving is to NEVER hold your breath but if you are a free diver things change.
A person can usually hold their breath for a minute or maybe two with some effort. With training it is easy to reach 4 or 5 minutes
.Budimir Šobat is something that exceeds the capabilities of the common man as he held his breath for a period of 24 minutes and 37 seconds.

Think of all the things you could do in that time: You could watch an entire TV show or even drive from one city to another.

Now imagine doing it without breathing. Incredible but true.

Budimir did this for two reasons: The first was to raise funds for the reconstruction of the “Miracle Room” of the Sisak disabled people’s association.

And the second is because only he can do it.

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The person who dived from the highest place on earth / Marcel Korkus

Diving at a high altitude requires a lot of experience, preparation and special knowledge since the physics is very different from that applied at sea level.

Marcel Korkus reached this record in Ojos del Salado, Argentina on December 13, 2019 at an altitude of 6,395 meters or 20,980 ft.

Marcel Korkus and his team
Marcel Korkus and his team

Being at that altitude already constitutes a challenge for most human beings requiring a lot of physical and mental strength.

Now imagine diving in freezing water in such a harsh environment.

Altitude diving requires training and physical preparation well above normal.

To give you a better idea, it is only necessary to add that the safe diving limit is 3000 meters high and that above this is wha we know as experimental diving, so Marcel practically doubled the established limit.

Diving World Records: Conclusion

As we know for sure by now, there are different categories in which a diving record can be established.

In many cases, those who have achieved these achievements have done so for a strong motivation, such as raising funds for a charity or paying tribute to a relative who has already passed away.

It is interesting to think that the right motivations in life can take us far and push us to do things that others see as just plain crazy.

Maybe you too have a deep motivation that will make you break a world record one day and we will happily put your name on this article in the future. It will be a real pleasure.

If you would like to learn to scbuda dive, today is a great day to start! Click here to find out!

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