At 168 total hours, The University of Toledo scuba diving club Dive UT completed the longest consecutive underwater dive in an enclosed environment, a record that will be reviewed by The Guinness Book of World Records.The previous record of 165 consecutive hours officially was broken at 12:21 a.m. Tuesday, April 9, and Dive UT members remained underwater until 3:31 a.m. to secure the record at 168 hours.
Rob Schuster, an environmental science student and president of Dive UT, said there were quite a few nights when members only slept three or four hours. There are about 30 members of the group; 20 were involved with the dive, and six students from outside the group helped out.
“I want to give a shout-out to the entire group,” Schuster said. “We started the week with a lot of adversity. We had fatigue issues, water purity issues and heating issues. But the group did an amazing job coming together and coming up with creative solutions to make this happen.”
Schuster said members of the group were talking about breaking the record one night and thought it would be a fantastic way to promote the club.
The 330-gallon tote of water where the divers spent the week was located in the Student Union Trimble Lounge, which is a high-traffic area on campus, to capture the attention of students and get them to ask about Dive UT.
“In northwest Ohio, not a lot of people think about diving,” Schuster said. “A lot of the people involved in the sport are older. This is our way of bringing youth back to the sport.”
There is video to confirm the 168-hour dive, as well as paperwork that was submitted to Guinness, which was aware of the dive throughout the whole process, Schuster said. Once the video and paperwork are reviewed, the scuba diving club will wait to hear back from Guinness about the official record.