Egyptian Sets Longest Open Saltwater Dive at Over 51 Hours

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Some regard diving as a recreational activity; something that helps them relax and feel one with the ocean.

Others like to push their limits and test their capabilities underwater. Case in point: Egyptian diver Walaa Hafez.
If it’s only now that you’re reading about him, then you missed out. He recently broke the world record for the longest open saltwater dive: 51 hours and 20 minutes to be exact. He beat American Sherrod’s record in 2014, standing at 51 hours and 4 minutes.

The feat, which was celebrated by many of his comrades and fellow Egyptians the world over transpired off Hurghada in the Red Sea. Plus, Hafez was also clever enough to align his attempt with the International Red Sea Festival for Swimming and Diving that aimed to promote Egyptian tourism. He wanted to “rekindle the world’s interest in the stunning beauty of Egypt’s marine environment.”

To call Hafez an extreme diver is an understatement. He graduated from the Egyptian Naval College back in 2001 where served as a SEAL team leader in the Egyptian Navy Special Force. He retired due to a serious injury back in January 2011. He is currently a marine pilot with the Suez Canal Authority.

Sure, the challenge only goes at a depth of 10 meters. Even so, he dive time of more than 55 hours required extensive and complex decompression planning. Hafez battled the chances of catching hypothermia, as he utilized both a dry suit as well as a battery-powered heating system to stay warm. For his diet, Hafez planned a timed diet of liquid food and drinks to maintain his energy levels and keep his blood chemistry stable.

The question is: How long can you stay underwater?