Dec 2019

Ahmed Gabr. A World Record Breaking Diver!

By Elena Vivaldo

So, how do you become the Guinness World Record holder for deepest scuba dive? In Ahmed Gabr’s words: “I wanted to satisfy my curiosity of how deep the human body can go, I was researching in books and on the internet but still never had the absolute answer so I figured out the best way to find the answer is to try it myself.”

As a truly inspirational and motivational person, let’s take a closer look at Ahmed Gabr, and how his training and values made him one of the greatest scuba divers of our time.

Who Is Ahmed Gabr?

Ahmed Gabr is an Egyptian recreational and technical diver and three times Guinness World Record breaker! But how did he get here?

Ahmed Gabr started developing his scuba diving prowess at the age of 18. Like most of us, he first started diving for pleasure before deciding to make a career out of it and becoming a scuba diving instructor. Parallel to honing his diving knowledge and skills, he served in the Egyptian military as an Army Officer, and he was later accepted in the US Army Combat Diver Course – he is the only US Combat Diver in the Middle East (!).

Today, Gabr is retired from the military force but continues to teach recreational and technical diving courses in Dahab, Egypt. He is also a guest speaker and event ambassador at many international diving conferences and meetings around the world.

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Where Is Ahmed Gabr from?

Ahmed Gabr is from Egypt. Known for its majestic history and iconic landscape, Egypt is a renowned scuba diving destination. The high concentration of marine life, wrecks and incredible coral reefs make Egypt one of the best diving spots in the world for beginners and seasoned divers.

No wonder Ahmed Gabr chose the stunning waters of the Red Sea to set his record!

Ahmed Gabr World Record Dive

Although scuba diving is not a competitive sport, some intrepid divers have set some extreme world record dives, and Ahmed Gabr is one of them. In 2014 he won the Guinness World Record for the Deepest Scuba Dive (Male) and Deepest Sea Dive at 332.35 metres (1,090 feet).

The previous record for the world’s deepest dive was held by Nuno Gomes from 2005 to 2014. Gomes reached the depth of 318 metres (1,044 ft) with a dive also off the coast of Dahab.

To add to Gabr’s impressive record, in 2015 he was also the Guinness World Record holder for the largest underwater clean-up, with a team of 614 divers working together in care for the environment. This record was later beaten in 2019, in Florida, with 633 divers.

Ahmed Gabr’s Dive Plan

Ahmed Gabr’s victorious achievement for the world’s deepest dive was four years in the making.

His training started in 2010 but was put on hold because of the political turmoil in Egypt. A few years later, when the political situation was more stable, he resumed his training. Because of the risks involved with deep diving, not only did he get into physical shape, but he also did yoga exercises to improve his air consumption and mental focus.

Finally, on 18 September 2014, he was ready to take the plunge and smash the record for the deepest scuba dive, marking a new chapter in scuba diving history.

Amazingly, it only took him 12 minutes to reach the depth of 332.35 metres. Although he was aiming for 350 metres, he soon started to experience tremors and dizziness that could have had fatal consequences, and having already broken the world record, he did what every responsible diver would do and turned back.

The remaining 14 hours were dedicated to making a controlled slow safety ascent to avoid any risks associated with deep diving.

Ahmed Gabr - World Deepest Dive

Needless to say, that Gabr’s dive plan was carefully executed and organised to the finest detail. To support him, he had a team of divers, doctors and organizers before, during and after the dive. Out of the 14 hours, Gabr was alone for only 40 minutes. On his ascent, there were safety stops and support divers to help him with his empty tanks and provide him with new gas mixes to breathe. Throughout the dive, he used more than 70 tanks with different diving gas mixes. Yikes!

Ahmed Gabr - World record Dive

Ahmed Gabr The Famous Documentary

Ahmed Gabr’s record-breaking deepest scuba dive was the subject of a famous documentary, The Deepest Ever by Didier Noirot, the leading underwater cinematographer who has worked with no other than Jacques Cousteau. His latest work includes the award-winning BBC documentary The Blue Planet with Sir David Attenborough.

Ahmed Gabr on Instagram

To unveil the latest news of his daily diving activities, Ahmed Gabr uses different social media platforms. Visit his Instagram page to stay tuned about his work and to see hardly-even seen photos of the ocean depths. And who knows, you might even get rid of one or two technical diving misconceptions.

Ahmed Gabr - Dive

Ahmed Gabr on YouTube

Check out Ahmed Gabr’s YouTube videos for some truly epic tech diving videos!

His technical expertise and comfort in the water make for a fun and enjoyable viewing that will impress divers and non-divers worldwide.

If we set our minds on the goal, and believe in ourselves, we can truly achieve great things. Gabr’s impressive feat has proved that with mental and physical preparation, mankind can accomplish the unthinkable. With his hard work and dedication, Gabr has pushed the human body to new limits, setting the boundaries of what we can accomplish to new heights – or depths.

How do you feel about deep dives? Are you a technical diver? Or are you thinking of becoming one? Let us know in the comments below!

Sources: ahmedgabr.com, @AhmedGabrDiver, tecrec.padi.

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Elena Vivaldo

One thing's for sure, I slowly drifted into becoming a PADI instructor.
I took my first breath underwater when I was 10 while on holiday in Turkey, and got my open water certification at 16, in Thailand.

Initially, diving was simply something I enjoyed doing while on holiday, but at some point, I decided to up my game and to make something out of it. I've always loved travelling, and diving gave me the freedom to travel and work at the same time. So I took my first step towards becoming a PADI pro, and I did my divemaster internship in Tenerife. I worked on the island for a few months before heading to India to further hone my diving skills.

Years later, and with many dives under my weight belt, I've had the great opportunity to introduce people to the underwater world and to explore many exciting dive destinations. There is nothing I like more than seeing new dive sites around the world (my weakness).

When not teaching, I continue to share my love for diving by writing about it. As a copywriter, I can blend my diving and writing skills to create insightful content. But more importantly, I've found a way to stay connected to the world beneath the waves even when I'm out of the water.

Diving Qualifications:
- PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor
- PADI Speciality Instructor: deep, wreck, night, enriched air, O2
- EFR Instructor
- Scubapro Level 1 Technician

Dream Diving Destinations:
- Palau
- Cenotes, Mexico
- Galapagos
- Vancouver Island, Canada
- Sardine Run, South Africa
- Mass coral spawning, Great Barrier Reef