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Ohio college divers set world record

(DiverWire) Last Tuesday, the University of Toledo Dive Club in Ohio became the new Guinness Book of World Record holders for the longest continual dive by a group of divers in a confined water environment. The club broke the record diving in a purpose built tank on the University of Toledo campus, with at least one diver breathing underwater on scuba at all times for seven full days.

The event was supported by a number of local businesses, and their progress throughout the event & it’s ultimate success received national media attention.

The record was achieved with the combined effort of 25 divers plus a number of additional standby divers and “designated persons in charge” which was mainly comprised of university students but also included a few family and friends. The event was supported by a number of local businesses including Syntech Products who designed and built the tank specifically for the event, local dive shop Aqua Hut who loaned the equipment & dive travel wholesaler Deep Blue Adventures who provided exposure for the event, recruited participants as well as owner & founder Cheryl Patterson & her family taking part in the diving itself.

Divers traded shifts ranging anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 ½ hours at a time underwater and the determined group together overcame multiple obstacles that arose during their attempt including fatigue, virtually zero visibility and cold water temperatures. The event was overseen and met stringent standards set by OSHA and the University, as well as Guinness throughout the week. The record was held previously in Brazil.

While the idea was initially conceived to create more awareness about the club to fellow students on the university campus, the response & attention they received locally & across the United States in just a few short days leads Patterson to believe the club’s efforts achieved far more than that.

She explains “Over the course of the week I had the privilege of spending time with a number of the UT Dive Club’s members, and witnessed the impact their efforts had not only on them personally, but on their fellow students, faculty members and ultimately the general public. I have attended several meetings the past year or so with industry veterans and respected gurus who each time gather to discuss how to keep our beloved “sport” alive and how to get the younger crowd to choose diving above all other forms of entertainment and/or career paths. Here, in that small building on an unassuming university campus in Toledo Ohio, this passionate group has achieved something none of us older, experienced diving professionals have even begun to scratch the surface of: they piqued the interest of literally dozens upon dozens of young adults and gathered a list of those who are genuinely interested in learning more or have decided because of them, that becoming a diver is now what they want to do. And these people were all found by chance or circumstance walking through a college building in the space of one week and achieved on a small budget with only the support of few local companies – it was incredible to watch!”

The club was not satisfied with ending at “merely” breaking a world record, following it two days later with a Try Scuba evening on the University Campus with the names they had collected during the previous week. Patterson continues “I also assisted the club in their subsequent Try Scuba session the following Thursday and the line of people ready and waiting for the doors to open was unbelievable! The ages of participants ranged from college freshman to experienced faculty members, and afterwards, every single one of them talked about how “awesome” and “cool” their diving diving experience was. 37 people in all discovered scuba with the club that night alone, and 5 went on to enroll in certification classes immediately. I’ve always believed for the future of diving to be successful, that we need to mentor, encourage and share our incredible world with the younger generation as much as we can, but it was evident this past week they also have much to teach us!”

Deep Blue Adventures will be continuing their support to the UT Dive Club, which intends to not only use the exposure to lead to more certifications and membership within their club, but to participate proactively in the diving community as a whole and in various fundraising & charity events. The club also hopes to sink the now famous tank later this year in a local diving quarry to commemorate the record.

You may also read the full story of the event from Patterson’s personal perspective of her experiences that week on Deep Blue Adventures blog:
UT Dive Club would like to thank the following sponsors and supporters for all they did during their attempt: Syntech Products, Aqua Hut Dive Shop, Dive Shop Brand, Deep Blue Adventures, Seal Plus, WXUT Radio, Tim Horton’s, Oasis and Marco’s Pizza