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October 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 32, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Older, Deeper, Longer and a Guinness Record

from the October, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

When Undercurrent readers end their subscriptions, we ask why -- and many say they are "too old to dive." While most report there is nothing wrong with them, they have made some arbitrary decision about a number, their age, and the number at which they should not dive. But why? We are all getting older -- the French call scuba diving the "Sport of Grandparents." Let's not stop enjoying diving.

For example, we don't have to undertake dives that challenge us. While a young, fit and experienced diver might wish to dive the Andria Doria with multiple tanks and a rebreather, what's wrong with doing single-tank shallow dives in benign conditions? Not a thing. We dive for our own pleasure, and easy dives can be remarkable dives.

Some older divers just keep going. The age record is held by 93-year-old Paul Staller, who dived to 52 feet (16m) for 36 minutes in the Turks & Caicos in 2014. We don't know if he's still diving, but he obviously enjoyed himself. And he could now be considered a mere whippersnapper.

The Wirral Globe reports that Ray Woolley, a 94-yearold Brit, retired and living in Cyprus, hopes to claim the Guinness World Record for the oldest scuba diver. And he went longer -- 41 minutes -- and deeper -- 125 feet (38m) on August 28th, diving the Mediterranean wreck of a truck ferry, Zenobia, in Cyprus. And he ain't stopping!

But, is Wooley really the oldest living diver? Leni Riefenstahl, infamous for her 1935 Nazi publicity movie The Triumph of Will, was still diving past 95. Do you know someone older who ought to own that record? We'd like to hear. BenDDavison@undercurrent.org (Don't forget to include your town and state.)

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