On Thursday at 12:25 p.m., Jerry Hall made scuba diving history. After over five days underwater at South Holston Lake in Bristol, Tenn., Hall broke the record for “longest scuba dive in open fresh water.”
The excursion started on Saturday at 12:10 p.m., according to a live blog that his diving team updated regularly. The record he set out to beat was 120 hours, 14 min and 11 seconds, set by Allen Sherrod in 2011, according to the World Record Academy.
Hall previously held the record in 2002 and 2004. This year, he set out to win back his title, and then some.
“Last time, there were a number of people who almost broke his old record, and someone finally did by mere minutes,” said Jim Bean, co-captain of Hall’s dive team. “He decided he wanted to try to get the record back and add, not just minutes, but hours.”
Bean said Hall decided to stay underwater until Friday at 1:41 pm, approximately 25 hours past the record-breaking point.
The “Jerry Hall World Record Dive” Facebook page says Hall wanted to leave a lasting impression since “this is his last attempt at the world record breaking dive.”
So how did he do it? Bean says Hall slept and ate regularly… he just needed special accommodations to do so.
He used a full face mask when he slept so he didn’t have to worry about accidentally inhaling water, and he had his food delivered to him by volunteers on the diving team.
“When eating, he uses the normal regulator,” Bean said. “We cut up the food into bite size pieces, stick them in a baggy, and dive it down to him. Jerry then takes out his regulator, sticks food in between his lips, spits out any water that slips in, and chews and swallows.”
To entertain himself on the long underwater experience, Hall watched TV. Yes. TV.
“An underwater TV that is attached to a DVD player is providing entertainment for Hall after he returned to the platform this morning,” said the blog. “A speaker provided by Lubell Labs is allowing Hall to listen to music and the TV audio throughout the dive.”
The live blog added that Hall had a stationary bike for exercise underwater, and Bean said another Lubell labs speaker allowed Hall to communicate with family, friends and volunteers on land.
With just a few hours to go, Bean said Hall was feeling positive.
“He’s doing very good,” he said Thursday evening. “He’s very upbeat since he does have the record and the pressure is down now. He can come up now or he can come at 2 o’clock. He’s just enjoying himself and still celebrating. ”