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World record broken by University of Toledo dive club

Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 16:04


Screenshot courtesy of the University of Toledo

Goggles sit beside the 330-gallon tank earlier this week that divers used for the past week to break a world record, which they accomplished this morning.

A team that included the University of Toledo student scuba diving club broke the world record Tuesday morning for longest continual time underwater between a group of divers in an enclosed environment.

The group of about 25 certified divers spent April 1 through 9 taking turns underwater in a 330-gallon tote housed on UT’s campus in the Student Union next to the Trimble Lounge. 

The session began Monday, April 1, around 6:20 p.m., and lasted until early Tuesday morning around 3:30 a.m. The previous world record was 6 days and 21 hours, which the group surpassed by about 3 hours.

Clayton Moore, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, said the group must now submit the week’s worth of video and other paper work to Guinness World Record officials. He expects to hear the final verdict in about a month.

However, he is confident he already knows the outcome.

“No matter what, we got this record,” he said. “We followed everything dot for dot.”

Other divers like Zech Hites, a sophomore mechanical engineering major, are similarly confident. Despite initial setbacks like a leaking tank and the continual pressure of the week's work, Hites said he was proud of the group.

"We came together as a group to solve [our problems]," he said.

Divers who participated stayed submerged in a small, canvas-colored vessel with no windows, sometimes for hours on end. Hites logged over 24 hours under the water, as did graduate student Joseph Pietrykowski

"I didn't mind the sensory deprivation," he said. "It was the lack of sleep that was really hard to deal with."

While Pietrykowski and Moore described the feeling of breaking a world record as "surreal," some couldn't even get that far.

"I'll be able to answer that after a nap," Hites said.

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