Today in History: South African sets record for world’s deepest dive

South African diver, Nuno Gomes, entered the Guinness Book of World Records when he achieved the deepest scuba dive at the time,13 years ago.

Nuno Gomes was born in Lisbon in 1951, but his family relocated to Pretoria when he was 14 years old.

He took up diving in 1977, when he joined the Wits Underwater Club.

It would take only 19 years before he would set his first world record, the deepest-ever cave dive, by reaching a breathtaking 282,6m in the Boesmansgat cave in the Northern Cape.

Nine years later, Gomes set his second Guinness World Record, the record for the deepest ever scuba dive.

Gomes’ 318,25m plunge beat the previous record of 313m, which was set by Mark Ellyatt in Thailand in 2003.

Gomes’ dive was done in the Red Sea off the coast of Egypt near Dahab.

His target was a depth of 320m, but he didn’t quite manage it. Nevertheless, his 318,25m proved deep enough for him to claim the record.

It took Gomes only 20 minutes to descend, but returning to the surface took an agonising 12 hours, giving a total run time of 12 hours and 20 minutes. The dive made use of a team of nine support divers.

He is one of only three men verified by Guinness World Records to have dived deeper than 300m with scuba equipment (using trimix); the other two divers are the late John Bennett and the current record-holder, Ahmed Gabr, who broke Gomes’ record in 2014 by reaching 332,35m.

Watch clips from his documentary on the dive, here:

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  AUTHOR
Blake Linder

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