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Ahmed Gabr (أحمد جبر in Arabic; born 9 November 1972) is an Egyptian scuba diver who holds the Guinness World Records for both The Deepest Scuba Dive (Male) and The Deepest Scuba Dive in Sea Water. Ahmed dived to a depth of 332.35 metres (1,090.4 ft).
In 2010, Gabr started training to break the world's record for the deepest depth ever reached by a human in scuba diving. The holder of the previous record was Nuno Gomes, with a record of 1,044 feet (318.25 m). Initially, the dive was scheduled to be done in 2012, but due to some political unrest in Egypt the dive was postponed.
On 18 September 2014, Gabr started his World Record dive with the help of H2O Divers in Dahab; a team of 30 individuals, including 9 divers as well as technicians, medical staff, and media representatives. The dive started at 10:30 on Thursday; while the descent took only 15 minutes, the ascent took 13 hours 35 minutes and he finally surfaced on Friday at 00:20. The slow ascent (decompression stops) is designed to mitigate the harmful effect caused by breathing different gases under pressure. Other than air, Gabr inhaled different mixes of nitrogen, oxygen and helium (Trimix), each with its own risk factor (nitrogen narcosis, decompression sickness, and oxygen toxicity) that could be fatal in many cases.
Gabr managed to reach 335 meters, instead of the 350 meters planned, and preferred to accept this depth not to risk losing control on his extremities due to the high-pressure nervous syndrome (HPNS) he was experiencing. Minutes later, the depth was adjusted by the Guinness team to 332.35 meters (1091 feet) due to a slight bend in the rope resulting from the water current.
Amazingly, Gabr was able to address the team and the media only minutes after surfacing, which was dazzling to all experts, who expected hours of recovery from this strenuous experience.
The Two Guinness World Records held by Gabr are:
It all started when Gabr asked the questions "How deep can the human body can go? and what is the effect of such a deep dive and pressure on the human body?". In 2008, Gabr started to research and read many books in the field of deep sea medical scientific research, trying to find answers to his questions. Unfortunately, he couldn't find any information that would satisfy his curiosity. Gabr then decided to take the risk and experiment with his own body.
In 2010, he began his intensive training schedule, which included mental and physical preparations. Gabr had to exert a tremendous effort on the psychological part of his training, having to put himself in a state of mind that would empower him to achieve his target dive. Then Gabr had to form his support team, which consisted of 24 support divers from all over the world, technicians, medical team and others. It took him four years to finalize his training abilities, both mental and physical, in addition to pin-pointing the best spot for the dive. Primarily, the dive was going to take place in Safaga on the Red Sea, but due to strong water currents happening in that area, Gabr and the team decided to change the location to Dahab, South Sinai.