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Scuba Diving Statistics 2022

Table of Contents

Scuba diving is (naturally) our favorite sport – and there are some wild divers out there who have broken some impressive records!

Have you ever wondered what the deepest scuba dive is? Do you love the ocean so much, you’d like to be underwater forever?

Well you’d better hear about the longest scuba dive ever done! Then there’s the offbeat records… like what’s the most amount of scuba divers ever on a dive?

The wondering is endless.

Let us tell you about some of the coolest scuba diving stats to date.

Read on to hear all about these rad records!

Key Scuba Diving Facts, Statistics & Trends:​

  • Deepest Scuba Dive – Men’s: 332.35m/1,090ft (GuinessWorldRecords)

  • Deepest Scuba Dive – Women’s: 236.04m/770ft (GuinessWorldRecords)

  • Deepest Closed Circuit Scuba Dive: 290m (951.44ft) (ScubaNews)

  • Longest Open Saltwater Scuba Dive: 142 hours, 42 minutes & 42 seconds (GuinessWorldRecords)

  • Longest Open Circuit Freshwater Scuba Dive: 120 hours (GuinessWorldRecords)

  • Highest Altitude Scuba Dive: 6,382 meters (20,938ft) (ExplorersWeb)

  • Most People Scuba Diving at a Time: 3,131 people (IndonesiaWomensOrg)

  • Oldest Scuba Diver: 96 years old (GuinessWorldRecords)

Deepest Scuba Dive 332.35m (1,090ft 4.5 In)

This has got to be the biggest flex in the scuba diving world – how deep have you been diving?

Well, the deepest scuba dive ever recorded was by Ahmed Gabr in Egypt in September 2014.

The dive was 332.35m deep and the Egyptian successfully did it in his home ‘turf’, in the Red Sea off the coast of Dahab in Egypt.

Ahmed is a 41 year old scuba diving instructor, so he knows how to dive! It took him four whole years of training to prepare for this monumental day.

And endless hours with his super experienced dive team to create a safe dive plan. Which is needed to avoid all the potential issues associated with deep diving (like decompression illness and nitrogen narcosis etc). Deep diving is badass, and it’s cooler when it’s done safely!

The dive only took 12 minutes, however, the ascent took a whopping 14 hours to avoid those risks of decompression.

Gabr smashed through nine cylinders during the whole dive. The rest of the support team needed 92 to get them safely back to the ocean’s surface.

The previous record was 318.25m in the same location in 2005. That record was set by scuba diver Nuno Gomes, the famous South African cave diver.

These kinds of dives are only possible with the highest level of training and practice – and their success is a real testament to proper dive safety.

Deepest Scuba Dive (Women’s) 236.04m (770ft)

Karen van den Oever holds the women’s title for deepest ever scuba dive! She smashed 236m down in Boesmansgat cave in her native South Africa.

This cave is home to many historic scuba dives and is world famous to cave divers. She claimed this title last year in March 2021 on a dive that took 7 hours and 18 minutes. Not bad, not bad!

Deepest Closed Circuit Dive 290m (951.44ft)

The deepest scuba dive on closed-circuit rebreather was set by Will Goodman, one of Blue Marlin’s tech instructors on Gili Trawangan in Indonesia – home of many epic tec diving experts.

He set the record back in March 2014.

To get that deep, he dropped 290m during a 9 minute freefall! His computers froze, so his actual unrecorded depth is said to be over 300m.

This dive lasted 9 hours and 57 minutes – although it’s not officially recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records.

The women’s record is proudly held by Kimberly Inge who dropped down to 198.73m in Grand Cayman in May 2012.

She clocked up 6 hours 2 minutes on this mega dive at Lighthouse Point.

Longest Dive -142 Hours And 42 Minutes

The legendary Cem Karabay set the world record for the longest ever open saltwater scuba dive when he spent almost a week underwater!

He was sporting some serious open-circuit scuba gear off the island of Cyprus back in July 2016.

In total, he racked up 142 hours, 42 minutes and 42 seconds under water. That’s over six whole days submerged.

It may strike you that spending so much time underwater would be difficult – and they certainly had to invest in some interesting ways of feeding him, providing him water and… the other stuff.

He even had some dive buddies join him to play football and checkers to help him pass the time, because, let’s be honest, as much as we love scuba diving, that’s a long time to spend underwater.

He absolutely crushed the previous record, set by him the previous year, with 71 hours on the clock.

Bizarrely, he also set the record for the longest scuba dive in an enclosed area, after spending 192 hours, 19 minutes and 19 seconds inside a pool in Istanbul in Turkey.

That was back in October 2011.

He’s totted up quite the collection of underwater records – four Guinness Book of World Records!

There are some kickass chicks out there who have set some records too!

Cristi Quill set the female record after she lost her mother to breast cancer, and set a record dive to raise money for ‘Putting Cancer Under Pressure’.

She stayed below 5 meters on closed-circuit scuba gear for a massive 51 hours, 25 minutes, with absolutely no surface contact.

Longest Dive (Freshwater) – 120 Hours

The American Jerry Hall holds the longest scuba dive in freshwater! He hung out on a submerged platform in Watauga Lake, Tennessee for a solid 120 hours, 1 minute and 9 seconds.

He got through the grand adventure by eating, sleeping and exercising on a stationary bike. He even had a TV with a DVD player to keep him entertained down there!

Highest Altitude Scuba Dive 6,382 Meters (20,938ft)

Have you ever wondered how high in the sky you can scuba dive?

Ernő Tósoki, the Hungarian scuba diver and mountaineer tested the limits and set the record at 6,382 meters (20,938ft).

He did a cheeky scuba dive at Ojos del Salado, an active volcano sitting at the border between Argentina and Chile.

Sounds pretty wild, right?

It sure is – it’s the tallest volcano on planet Earth!

He dove the lake on the eastern side of the volcano. It was only two meters deep and ten minutes long, but under unforgiving conditions and without knowing the effects of diving at such altitudes.

For anyone who’s into scaling mountains and volcanoes, you may know the effects of altitude can hit at much lower heights, let alone with the addition of throwing some scuba diving in there.

Tósoki was the first person to complete the mission of diving over 6,000 meters, and with only one support team member.

Imagine lugging all that dive gear up that high? That in itself is an achievement!

Most People Diving At A Time - 3131 People

Do you like to party?

Ever wondered how many people you can go scuba diving at once!?

Back in 2019, the Indonesian Womens Organization set the record for the most people scuba diving at one time, with 3131 scuba divers in the water!

They performed the record-setting dive in Manado back in August 2019. 

They all waited in lines before descending into the deep so that they could coordinate their 15m dive.

Impressively, the previous record was less than half as many divers. 958 divers had a scuba party in the Maldives in 2006.

Oldest Scuba Diver -96 Years Old

The legendary oldest scuba diver is Ray Woolley! He was 96 years old and had been diving for 58 years.

He last did a 44-minute dive on his birthday in Cyprus in August in 2019. He actually set the record the previous two years too! What an absolute hero.

Scuba Diving The Three Lakes Challenge
20 Hours, 36 Minutes

The Three Lakes Challenge is when scuba divers dive the three highest lakes in the UK within just 24 hours!

Sounds wild, right?

As part of the challenge, the scuba divers have to carry their full dive gear to and from each of the lakes before doing the dive. Absolute mad dogs.

Kenny Munro, Matt Buckley and Rob Pozzi, a team of three from Burghead Sub-Aqua Club smashed the challenge in 20 hours and 36 minutes.

The first and highest lake was Loch Coire an Lochan, 996m up in the Cairngorms which took 6 hours and 38 minutes to complete.

Second was England’s Lake District’s Red Tarn, 718m high, and finally Ffynnon Lloer, in Snowdonia mountain range in Wales.

Fastest 10km Dive – 5 Hours And 24 Minutes

Not something you usually think about when scuba diving – going fast! But there is a record for everything, and there is one for the fastest ever 10km scuba dive.

Faisal Jawad Hassan this one after he bolted out in 5 hours and 24 minutes!

The previous record was 6 hours 21 minutes, so he beat that in a fairly savage way.

What’s even more impressive is that he’s a paraplegic, after losing the use of his legs following a car accident.

Fasal started scuba diving after the accident and injuries, and he said, ‘After the car accidents I had, the first thing I did was challenge my fears… I chose to learn how to dive. After I dove I felt that I am free under the water.

Longest Underwater Human Chain – 240 Divers

Have you ever wondered what the longest chain of scuba divers was? Us neither – but it’s been done!

The longest underwater human chain of scuba divers was 240 scuba divers, all lined up off the coast of Deerfield Beach in Florida.

The scuba divers all had to hold hands or lock arms for the chain to be record-worthy! They formed a large arch around the City Pier under some 3D buoys to guide them – kind of like synchronized swimming but synchronized chaining for divers.

This Guinness World Record was set in June 2017 and we’re not sure if anyone is going to bother trying to break that one! The previous record was set the year before in Thailand with a whopping chain of 182 divers.

The event was super wholesome as it started with every scuba diver’s favorite sustainable hobby – an underwater cleanup! They removed fishing nets and waste from the area before​

PADI Scuba Diving Stats

  • 27 million scuba diving certifications issued since 1967 by PADI
  • 1 million certifications issued by PADI every year
  • 137,000 PADI professional members globally
  • 6,600 PADI dive centers and resorts around the world
  • 186 countries where PADI operates in

*2019 Worldwide corporate statistics

Conclusion

So there you have it, some of the wildest stats in the world of scuba diving and freediving, and of course some of the craziest world records.

Do you reckon you could smash any of them?

Which records inspire you the most to get back in the water and blow some bubbles?

Let us know in the comments.

Tash Allen Author
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    My name’s Austin, and I created OtterAquatics to help readers become better divers, help them buy their first gear, and plan their next dive vacation!




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