Tragedy spurs Paul to world dive recordOctober 19, 2012 - 7:15am
BY CIARAN TIERNEY
City scuba diving enthusiast Paul Devane admitted that the memory of his late two year old nephew Cillian drove him on through extreme boredom, agitation, and cold when he broke the record for the world’s longest cold water dive off the coast of Connemara last week.
The 33-year old managed to spend 13 hours and four minutes in 12.5 degrees of sea water, breaking the record set in Malta last February, to reclaim the Guinness World Record which was set by his older brother Declan at Killary in 2009.
Paul had set an original target of 15 hours for his record attempt on Tuesday, but admitted that the extreme cold and boredom challenged him to the limit from the eighth hour of his dive – which was watched ‘live’ on-line by 11,000 people across the globe – as he counted down the minutes and hours.
Once Paul broke the previous record of 12 hours and 34 minutes under floodlights on Tuesday night, he signalled to the support crew on a boat hovering above that he would aim for the 13 hour mark before calling it quits at that stage.
Sibling rivalry also drove him on, as Paul abandoned the first record attempt in Killary in 2009 – due to a problem with a piece of toiletry equipment in his suit – when elder brother Declan set the original record of 11 hours and 42 minutes. Three years ago, Paul was forced to surface after eight hours.
“Declan and I had always been joking that he had the record over me, so I was determined to try again after his record was broken in Malta in February of this year,” admitted Paul yesterday.
“The lads were telling me that I was getting agitated as the dive went on. Some people were joking that it was a ‘double’ world record as I’ve never been known to spend 13 hours off my mobile phone! I was tired when I came out of the water and the paramedics took to me to an ambulance for 40 minutes to help me warm up. My muscles were really sore after spending that much time underwater.”
He said that he learned a lot from the first record attempt in 2009 and, while his first reaction was “never again” just after he completed the dive, he admitted that he might be tempted to go again if another diver attempts to break his new record in the future.
Full details of Paul’s successful world record dive can be viewed at www.worldslongestscubadive.com, where donations can still be made to the Clifden RNLI and the Hand in Hand charity.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.