Longest saltwater dive-world record set by
SAN PEDRO, Belize -- Robert Silva, 31, spent
48 hours and two minutes underwater at the Hol Chan Marine
Reserve-setting the new world record for the Longest
Photo:For two days, Silva
lived roughly a dozen feet underwater surrounded by coral
reef, various sea creatures and occasionally curious tourists
swimming by during recreational dives. (enlarge
He survived on a liquid diet of Gatorade mixed
with extra protein and vitamins that was stored in a Camelback-type
system, and spent a majority of his time doing the best he
could to adapt to his aqua home. The Longest
saltwater dive was completed as a fundraiser for the
American Cancer Society and as a personal goal for Silva,
who has been a recreational scuba diver for a decade.
“Some of my family have fought cancer, and many
of my friends family members have fought it,” Silva said.
“Many have won the fight, and with groups like the American
Cancer Society, maybe someday no one will even have to take
on the battle.”
Silva, 31, broke the former Guinness World Record
of 36˝ hours.
Despite the comfort of warmer water, salt water
is harsher on the gear and presents potential environmental
challenges like tides and currents, he said.
With the help of Ramon’s Dive Shop at
the host resort and other sponsors including Scuba Emporium
in Orland Park, Ocean Technology Systems in California
and Reef Net in Canada, Silva was lowered below the
surface on Sept. 14 without any problems.
Silva kept busy by talking with his crew,
completing crossword puzzles and Sudoku puzzles on specially
laminated boards, and posing for pictures with other divers.
He became a spectator in a foreign environment.
Sea turtles, groups of octopus and manatees, and schools of
fish swam freely around Silva after they realized he was not
a threat, he explained.