Is Maldives going to lose Scuba Dive World Record?

Thursday, 16 July 2009 22:33

When Jim Blauvelt goes for a dive Saturday, it might get a little crowded.

The Elyria man hopes to be underwater with an additional 1,000 people at the Gilboa Quarry near Findlay to break the Guinness world record for most divers submerged at one time.

Gilboa Quarry is sponsoring the attempt and is still registering certified divers to come out in the event to try to make history. The record is currently at 958 people who dove in 2006 in Maldives, a group of islands in the Indian Ocean. That record broke another that was set a year earlier with 722 people.

Blauvelt, a recreational diver for the past three years, said he goes to the Gilboa Quarry often, and the chance to be a part of breaking a world record was too good to pass up.

“It’s a challenge,” he said. “Plus, I want to bring the record back to the States. I don’t like sharing things with other countries.”

The 14-acre limestone quarry already has registered at least 700 people, Blauvelt said. The final tally is being kept secret until Saturday, when a drawing will be held for those who participate to guess the final number. Prizes for that and other contests include scuba equipment and a lifetime pass to the quarry.

Blauvelt, 39, said he knows of at least 16 other Lorain County residents who are making the trek to the dive site. The large body of water already contains a 65-foot-long, 78-foot-wide Grumman Gulf Stream Twin Turbo Prop Airplane, a helicopter and a school bus, so even a record number of divers will only take up a small portion of the water, he said.

“That fits in there and when you’re down there, it looks miniscule,” he said, referring to the 20,000-pound helicopter.
Wendy Vayda, another regular at the quarry, said quarry owner Mike Williams has been planning the record attempt for four years. She said he always errs on the side of safety, so she’s sure he’ll do everything to make sure it’s a safe, fun event.

“Every question I’ve asked him, he always has safety first,” the Elyria resident said. “I’m a big proponent of safety, so I know it will be fine.”

Vayda has been diving since 2004 and Blauvelt since 2006. Both said they love interacting with the water and discovering all they can see below the surface.

“You can see a lot more than what you can see on land,” Blauvelt said.

Both said they love Gilboa Quarry and were diving there as recently as Saturday. They learned about it and other diving quarries, like the Portage Quarry near Bowling Green and White Start Quarry in Gibsonburg, when they began training to dive.

As far as Saturday’s record-breaking attempt, those who want to participate must abide by several stipulations before getting into the water, including proving that they’ve been diving in the past 60 days. A fee of $50 is also required.

“For that $50 you get a T-shirt, free parking, they shuttle you and your gear for you from the parking lot, a free dinner — you get all that,” Vayda, 38, said. “It’s not just an admission fee.”

Vayda said Williams will try to get everyone into the water between 2 and 3 p.m. Saturday.

Read more information :

Guinness Record Breaking Event 18 - July 2009

Maldives breaks the scuba dive world record 26 - February 2006


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