Diving World Record Attempt in Florida

by   Profile Hannah   When 21st June 2017
Welcome to Deerfield Beach!
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Morning view of the pier
Topside of the pier
MARES booth at the event
The MARES Crew
MARES product manager, Rick Trapp doing outreach
IGFA staff sorting out the debris
Volunteer hauls up trash collected by divers
Numbered buoys
Getting ready to line up for the record attempt
The Steidley family heads out for the attempt
Divers head out around the pier
Steidley hands off his sunglasses to MARES VP Steve Lamphear
More than 250 divers joining the line
Divers excited to start out
MARES hat made it out for the dive
The attempt was overseen by many
MARES Sales Rep, Michael Steidley and son
Steidley says hi!
The Steidley headed out to the dive line
The chain is forming!
Bubbles showing the chain of divers

The early morning sun was bright on Saturday, June 17th,
casting glaring rays from the east atop the water to the edge of the beach
where we stood. Beach-goers were laying out their chairs, blankets and coolers
along the wide and clean Deerfield Beach in south Florida, USA. And so were hundreds
of scuba divers. Not just the typical 10 or 15 divers, there were HUNDREDS.
Some were there for the annual pier cleanup dive that has, in the past, attracted
the help of over 500 topside volunteers, divers and snorkelers. Most were there
to set a World Record. Arilton Pavan, owner of Dixie Divers, the dive shop that
organizes the cleanup event, said a customer approached him with the idea of
adding a world record dive attempt at the same time since so many divers were
already there for the cleanup. Pavan researched the details of the record,
contacted Guinness World Records, and officially applied to create the longest
chain of human scuba divers. The previous record was set in Thailand in
December 2016 with 182 divers making a chain 140 meters long during a dive that
lasted just under seven minutes.

Cleanup volunteer divers worked in the early hours of Saturday to
rid the base of the pier of debris, plastic, fishing line, and a massive anchor
that had been foul hooked and left behind. Members of the International Game
Fishing Association helped volunteers topside untangle the debris to ensure all
viable sea life was returned safely to the water. They kept workable sinkers
and weights to use in their fishing education programs.  Local groups, like the Women’s Club of
Deerfield Beach, conducted public outreach with information tables. Mares, an
official sponsor, pitched a tent that offered much needed shade. The Mares
staff chatted with divers and the public about diving, the event and their
products, handing out lots of promotional material. A few Mares staff were
diving, including sales representative Michael Steidley who kitted up with his
wife and two children to participate in both the cleanup and the record

By 10:30 am divers switched out tanks and received their white
plastic numbered tags that were affixed to their BCDs so they could be clearly
visible. We bumped into Emily who just happened to get the last official number
– 240. There were lots of additional divers that were not part of the official
count but still added to the inclusive vibe of the whole attempt. Groups lined
up on the beach and headed into the water, kicking out the length of the 976
foot pier to reach the numbered buoys that held ropes to orientate the divers
around the end of the pier. It was organized chaos, with shouting and laughing
and a little confusion but soon the divers descended and all that was left was
a long, semi-circle of bubbles.

Pavan said the City of Deerfield Beach and the local community
embraced the event and his aim was to “show everyone that South Florida has the
biggest active scuba community in the world”. It was impressive and inspiring
to watch the smiling faces and hear the excited chatter among all divers from
different shops, different clubs, different boats, wearing different brands. We
are all anticipating the official word from Guinness that the new record will officially
be 240 DIVERS!!

Written by
Profile Hannah
When 21st June 2017
Location Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier, Northeast 21st Avenue, Deerfield Beach, FL, United States

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Hannah on Jun 22nd 2017
It was a blast! Will make sure you get over for the next one, Stefan! ;)
Stefan Michl on Jun 22nd 2017
What a cool event Hannah! Would have loved to be in as well...! Next time ok?

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