Worlds Deepest Dive Ends In Tragedy

Dr Guy Harman Prior To His Fateful World Record Attempt Dive
Dr Guy Harman Prior To His Fateful World Record Attempt Dive

The latest attempt to reach incredible depths whilst Scuba Diving has ended in tragedy – on Saturday 15th August 2015 Dr Guy Garman failed to return from an attempted dive to 1200ft / 366m in an effort to set a new world record.

Garman, also known as “Doc Deep”, was attempting to beat the record set by Ahmed Gabr who made a 1090ft / 332m dive in the Red Sea in September 2014.

According to a statement released by Captain Ed Buckley, one of the captains assisting with the dive, Garman entered the water at 6am and was expecting to have a dive run time of 10 hours and 25 mins.

The statement continued:

“The first deep support divers were to meet up with him at 360ft (110m), 38 minutes after he descended. He never arrived at that first stop. Divers stayed as long as possible and more deep support divers went in to help with a deep vigil hoping that something had just seriously delayed him. He was attached to a 1,300ft (396m) descent line so surfacing elsewhere wasn’t an option.”

Garman had been preparing for the dive for 2 years, although according to an official video posted on the 7th August (the day before his dive – that you can see below), he had been diving for 4 years and prior to the fateful dive had dived to a maximum depth of 810ft / 247m.  To many in the Technical and Recreational Scuba Diving industry this level of experience would be considering far too small to carry out a dive of this scale.

Until the body of Dr Garman is recovered there is no knowing what caused him to fail to resurface.

On the statement on ScubaBoard.com, Captain Ed concluded:

“To say that we’re all very saddened is an understatement. Regardless of whether you agreed with his record goal or not, he was more knowledgeable about diving, and specifically deep and technical diving, than almost anyone else on the planet. His wife and son were on the boats during the dive this morning and respect for their privacy and that of his other son and daughter will be appreciated”

Dr. Garman was born in California and after an impressive medical career, relocated to the Virgin Islands to practice Osteopathy.

Stephan Whelan
Stephan is the Founder of DeeperBlue.com. His passion for the underwater world started at 8 years-old with a try-dive in a hotel pool on holiday that soon formulated into a passion he pursued in all his spare time. In 1996 his passion for the underwater world led him to setup DeeperBlue.com. When he gets time he enjoys both Freediving and Scuba Diving when not traveling for work or enjoying time with his family in London.

6 COMMENTS

  1. This accident was totally predictable , it was supported by an utterly unprofessional team of immature cheerleaders who apparently thought they were being supportive by cheering on this stupidity .

  2. More often than not, setting records means walking on a very thin line between death and victory, This is a sad event, but no one should be too surprised to hear that someone died while trying to break an underwater activity record. While scuba diving, breaking records include many dangers beside those inherited from being underwater. This means that they are pushing the limits beyond proven manageable safety margins. Some of the problems that a dive this deep could involve are: Breathing from the wrong cylinder with the wrong percentage gas; this can lead to oxygen starvation or gas intoxication from three possible gases (nitrogen, helium, oxygen, and if there is contamination, even carbon monoxide) all of which can affect the diver’s level of consciousness. The diver must switch cylinders accordingly at depth, not being able to see or misreading a tag or an improperly tagged cylinder, or not switching at the right time can easily lead to this. Electronic equipment failures; even when carrying several dive computers, not noticing a malfunction and being able to cross-check in time can lead to the diver not switching gases accordingly. At this depths light is very scarce, a malfunctioning or flooding light can make for a delay or error in the switching of gases. Mechanical Equipment failure; scuba regulators have been designed for use within known parameters, taking them to these extremes can result in unpredictable behaviors or even malfunctions. As the diver reaches a depth of 300 meters the gases turn 31 times as dense as in the surface and this causes them to behave more like a fluid, restrictions or small glitches are then a serious issue. Physical failures; the amount of stress, current health, hydration and even a cough attack can become lethal, knowing now that the gases are so much more denser we can see how over exertion, or a simple cough can become difficult if not impossible to manage by the person or the scuba regulators. Not to mention other little or unknown factors of breathing gases at such extreme depths such as high-pressure nervous syndrome (HPNS). Marine life threads; Ahmed Gabr (current deepest scuba dive record holder) had a small White Tip Oceanic shark swimming around through some part of his dive. Sharks seem to have very little interest in scuba divers, but if any critter including even a jellyfish becomes dangerous or is perceived as such at those depth, the diver must then exit the water following a series very lengthy stops and gas exchanges, not the most efficient evasion technique, specially under stress. Men and women undertaking such challenges are well aware of the risk and dangers of these extreme activities, but their extreme actions do help others to better understand and mitigate such in the future, and for this many divers do acknowledge their legacy. From my perspective, scuba diving is by no means any more dangerous than driving a vehicle, stop at the red light, obey traffic rules, drive defensively and you will rarely get into an accident, “red line” a Top Fuel Dragster and your life expectancy would probably drop to 20%. I hope that the results of the investigation do yield some important clues as to what went wrong. Condolences to all his family and friends. It is evidently that died doing what he loved to do, and that is worth giving credit.

  3. “There are old divers and there are bold divers, but there are no old bold divers.” The planning and preparation for this dive was orders of magnitude bolder than anything I would have personally considered attempting.

    My condolences the the deceased’s family and friends. I hope that others can adopt better techniques for safer deep-diving practices from what is learned from the accident analysis after his body and gear is recovered. Maybe then, this will not have been a pointless loss of life.

  4. So much for attempting to set a new world record with minimal or vast diving experience.

    However , had he been successful , I wonder what the naysayers would have had to say about the dive ?

    Condolences to the Family

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