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Intrepid scuba diver sets new depth record

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Lots of people around the world love donning their scuba gear and plunging into the oceans. However, few such enthusiasts can match intrepid diver Ahmed Gabr when it comes to sheer bravery and skill. Recently, the Egyptian former military officer set a new Guinness World Record by diving deeper than anyone else has before.

He completed the impressive feat in the Red Sea near the Egyptian town of Dahab,  where he works as a diving instructor.

Mr Gabr reached a depth of 332.35 metres in 12 minutes. However, it took him nearly 15 hours to return to the surface. Completing the assent any more quickly could have resulted in decompression sickness or equipment malfunction.

When he eventually emerged from the water, he was greeted by a Guinness World Records representative, who handed him a certificate stating he had performed the world’s deepest male scuba dive. Mr Gabr beat the previous record of 318.25 meters, which was set in 2005 by Nuno Gomez of South Africa.

Meanwhile, it was revealed that Mr Gabr had been planning to sink even deeper. Organisers suggested that his plan had been to reach a depth of 350 metres.

Plenty of preparation

Of course, a dive like this can’t be taken lightly. The 41-year-old had been preparing for the record attempt for four years and he was aided by a team of hyperbaric doctors and French and Egyptian diving specialists, who created custom-made decompression tables. He also used a range of different diving tanks to help ensure his safety on the way back to the surface. Speaking to NBC News about this, he remarked: “I travelled with nine tanks and decompressed for 14 hours.”

To optimise his chances of success, Mr Gabr drew on techniques used by yoga specialists to enable him to limit his breathing and slow his heartbeat.

Company

The tenacious diver was accompanied by members of his team down to a depth of 100 metres, but he continued below this point alone. However, he wasn’t entirely without company. According to the ex-special forces member, a baby oceanic whitetip shark kept him company for six hours.