World diving records. What are the limits underwater?

Do you know these amazing world diving records? Have you wondered how deep a person is able to dive? And have you heard that the longest dive in the sea lasted as long as 6 days? These diving records and the deepest dive – are impressive.

How deep we can dive is certainly one of the most interesting things about diving. We know that various animals can descend to truly impressive depths. But what are human diving records? Let’s find out!

World diving records – what are the classifications?

In fact, diving records can be broken with different goals. The obvious one is the deepest dive, but world records in diving don’t stop there. Records can be broken for the longest dive, the deepest dive on one breath, or the longest dive with one scuba dive tank. Let’s take a look at these most high-profile and crazy world records in diving.

World deepest dive with scuba equipment

  • Who: Ahmed Gabr
  • Where: Red Sea, Dahab, Egypt
  • When: September 18, 2014
  • Depth: 332.35 m (1,090.4 ft)
World diving records Ahmed Gabr
Ahmed Gabr – world deepest dive with scuba equipment

The record holder said in an interview that he was curious about how deep a person could go. He searched for answers both in literature and on the Internet, but found no hard facts. Unsatisfied, he decided to test it himself. The descent took about 15 minutes, while the ascent took 13 hours and 35 minutes. This is, of course, due to the decompression required and the enormous pressure prevailing at this depth.

However, don’t think that such a dive can be done by anyone or can be done just like that. It took four years to prepare for the whole project. I think it goes without saying here that Ahmed is an extremely experienced diver.

An interesting fact about this execution of the world’s deepest dive is that for six hours of diving, Gabr was accompanied by young oceanic whitetip sharks. “I think they wanted to congratulate me.” – he stated.

Ahmed Gabr broke the world record set in 2005 by Nuno Gomes of South Africa (318m). As of this moment, the Egyptian has basically 2 records to his credit: the deepest dive in the sea and the deepest dive among men.

world diviving record
Previous deepest dive record holder Nuno Gomes

World diving record in longest salt water dive among men

  • Who: Cem Karabay
  • Where: Girne, Cyprus
  • When: July 20, 2016
  • How long: 142 hrs. 42 min. 42 sec.

We already know how deep we can dive, now let’s think about how long we can stay underwater. Such a diving record has also been set and is now almost 6 days! Yes, you read correctly. Six days underwater, without going to the surface. During this time, of course, the diver had to eat, drink, sleep and occupy his thoughts with something. And think that we sometimes plan an entire diving trip for 6 days….

Cem Karabay broke his own record of 71 hours. He made his time spent underwater more enjoyable by riding a stationary bike, playing backgammon and soccer with his team, among other things. In 2011, he also set a record for the longest dive in a pool (192 hours – Istanbul, Turkey). You have to admit that he has the patience to stay underwater….

Cem Karabay – world diving record, photo: DiverNet

Longest salt water dive among women

  • Who: Cristi Quill
  • Where: San Diego, USA
  • When: July 11, 2015
  • How long: 51 hours 25 minutes.

Ladies are also reaching for world diving records and so, Cristi Quill set the record for the longest female dive. The dive, which lasted more than 2 days at a depth of 5 meters, was part of the Put Cancer Under Pressure campaign (Cristi’s mother died of breast cancer). Of course, during this attempt, food, water and air supply were provided by her team.

World diving record in deepest underwater bike ride

  • Who: Vittorio Innocente
  • Where: Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy
  • When: July 21, 2008
  • Depth: 66.5 m (218 ft)

Remember how I mentioned at the beginning that records in diving can be set with different ideas in mind? This is one of those world diving records that doesn’t come to mind in the first place. Underwater bike ride! Vittorio Innocente had already set a world record in this category. However, it was broken, so he regained the title. Vittorio was also the record holder at the time in the Longest Underwater Bike Ride category.

World diving record – oldest diver

  • Who: William Lambert
  • Age: 100 years old
  • Where: Pearl Lake, Illinois, USA
  • When: September 7, 2020

Another type of scuba record that is impressive is the oldest person diving. And here the battle for the title is tough, as every now and then someone raises the bar. Until recently, the world’s oldest diver was Ray Wolley, a World War II Veteran who breaks his own diving record at age 96!

Now, however, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the title of the world’s oldest diver went to William Lambert, who dived at the age of 100! This is a wonderful craziness that I hope to repeat when (and if) I reach that age.

Longest dive on a single cylinder

  • Who: Jacobus Jacobs
  • Where: Rustenburg, South Africa
  • When: January 27, 2007
  • How long: 8 hr. 20 min. 38 sec.

One of the common questions from non-divers is how long you can stay underwater with one tank. I always say that the answer is very simple…. I don’t know… It all depends on the person, his experience, condition, depth of dive and many other factors. To confirm my words, let’s have the diving record set by Jacobus Jacobs, namely the longest dive with a single tank. This diver stayed underwater, using only one tank of air, for a period of 8 hours and 20 minutes. This is a result so insane that I am unable to imagine it.

Longest held breath underwater

  • Who: Budimir Šobat
  • Where: Sisak, Croatia
  • When: March 27, 2021
  • How long: 24 min. 37 sec.

For how long can you hold your breath underwater? A minute or two? However, what Budimir Šobat did goes beyond normal human capabilities. This is a true world diving record, as he held his breath for nearly 25 minutes. Think about what you can do in that time. Maybe it’s the time it takes you to drive to work? Or that’s how long an episode of your favorite TV show lasts? Now imagine that you are doing this on held breath. Pure madness!

Diving in the highest place on earth

  • Who: Marcel Korkus
  • Where: Ojos del Salado, Argentina
  • When: December 13, 2019
  • Altitude: 6395m (20980ft)

It is also an amazing world diving record. Just being at such an altitude requires a lot of experience and body strength. Add to that the need for prior acclimatization and tough weather conditions. As if that weren’t enough, add to that diving in icy water. On top of all this you have to add the principles of physics and reduced pressure, which affect the diver and his equipment.

Marcel Korkus – Highest altitude scuba dive

In short, diving at high altitudes requires much more experience and knowledge of other principles of dive preparation. It is not for everyone, and certainly not at such an altitude. It is enough to say that the altitude of 3000m is accepted as a safe limit. Anything above this altitude is considered experimental diving.

World diving records – let’s recap

As you can see, it doesn’t matter what gender you are, or what age you are. Nor how crazy your idea is! You can do anything in scuba diving and you too have a chance to become the next world record holder in scuba diving, even if it would be eating hamburgers underwater or some other seemingly ridiculous thing…. So what do you think? Should we add your name to this list in a while? If you’re thinking about it, don’t forget to start with a basic diving course!