Diver Robert Silva fulfills record-breaking dive

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 19, No. 35            September 17, 2009

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His goal was to remain underwater for 48 hours and Robert Silva accomplished just that breaking the world record for the longest saltwater dive which stood at 36.5 hours. Taking the plunge at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Silva, with the assistance of Ramon’s Village Dive Shop, began his incredible feat on Monday at 10:30 a.m. On Wednesday, amongst media attention, Silva emerged after passing his 48 hour mark by three minutes and setting the new record which will be officially announced by Guiness World Records in the next couple weeks.

    Silva, attempting to raise funds as part of the feat, commented that at the invitation of Steve Headricks, owner of Ramon’s Village, Belize was chosen as the choice location. Preparing for months in anticipation for the challenge, Silva arrived in San Pedro Town and since last Friday had not eaten any solid foods. Between Monday and Wednesday, while underwater, Silva was nourished with Gatorade laced with vitamins and proteins as he remained underwater for the full two days. Crew members took shifts overseeing Silva below the water’s edge.

    The official Guiness rules stipulated that Silva needed to hit a 20 foot depth for twenty minutes at any given time during the challenge. He accomplished that on the first day; the rest of the time, he could have remained at any depth and on Wednesday, Silva emerged, emotional, exhausted and hungry. “Last night [Tuesday] was pretty tough. It started to get cold, and things didn’t seem normal to me but I stayed calm. I tried to get myself collected and make through the night. Once I saw the sun come up this morning, I knew I would be ok,” he expressed.

    Silva’s triumph will also be published on the Diving Almanac Book of Records. For a full video interview, visit www.sanpedrosun.blogspot.com or www.sanpedrosun.wordpress.com.

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