NEW World Record – Longest Ever Scuba Dive 3,961 miles
Fred Bolton has just made scuba diving history by completing the world’s longest scuba dive. Fred, a PADI scuba diving instructor for Oyster Diving, has become the first person to scuba dive across the Atlantic. He set off from Porthkerris in Cornwall on 1st March 2011 and has just reached Tortola in the British Virgin Islands taking 3 years and 1 month.
Along the way Fred had to battle against hurricanes, sharks, fishing nets, pirates, strong currents as well as crossing several shipping lanes.
When asked what his biggest challenge was he replied “There were two. The first one was I had to keep stopping to go for a wee, the cold water makes you do that. The second was I couldn’t get my hands on a Big Mac and Fries, I may invent with worlds first ‘swim thru’ as my next challenge.“
In total he swam underwater a distance of 3,961 miles and burned an average of 25,000 calories per day. In between the rough seas, the red rash and chaffing around his private regions, Fred managed to see some spectacular sites; “I went diving through a pod of Dolphins, came face to face with two 30m long blue whales who were having a bit of hanky panky and dived with a dozen different shark species – not all of them friendly”.
In total Fred managed to get through 15,000 x 15ltr tanks of air, 75 wetsuits (they were worn through around the groin), 17 pairs of fins and he lost 10 weight belts. Thanks to his Swiss Army knife he survived 10 shark attacks, got bent twice and passed out through dehydration and hunger 4 times. His computer averaged a depth of 22.1m which meant that he could avoid the hulls and wake of the giant cargo containers that passed overhead.
As we conduct this interview Fred is confined to Tortola’s 7ft x 2ft dive chamber, and he has been told he will have to spend up to 6 weeks in there. When asked if he was claustrophobic he replied, “I’m not worried about the size of the chamber but the toilet facilities are terrible and there is still no sign of a McDonalds’.
He was supported throughout his record breaking dive by 2 friends in their canoes who in turn had their own challenges – trying to carry enough water, keeping the bait alive for the fishing rods and using the sun’s rays to thoroughly cook the fish.
When asked when his next dive was going to be, Fred said that he was ‘looking forward to teaching an open water course for Oyster Diving the day after he gets out of the chamber’.
When asked if we would ever try something similar again he replied “F*!k that, I’m fu^%ing fu^&ed,”. A colourful choice of words meaning that he was probably feeling a little tired at the time of the interview.
If you’d like to do some spectacular dives then the Oyster Diving Club has numerous trips in the UK and overseas, but not across the Atlantic.
Happy 1st April 2014.