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Nick Shepherd

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World record attempt for longest scuba dive begins

July 27th, 2013 1:06 pm by Nick Shepherd

World record attempt for longest scuba dive begins

A Facebook photo fellow divers took of Jerry underwater.

Update — 10:39 a.m., July 29

Jerry Hall's dad said everything is going okay right now for Jerry. He had a great night's sleep last night, getting several hours of sleep. Jerry's Facebook page have released a few pictures of Jerry underwater. Jerry has spent almost 48 hours underwater. 

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Update — 9:20 p.m., July 28

Jerry Hall’s team released an update Sunday night. “He said he’s doing great. He’s eaten, he’s stayed warm, and he slept about three hours last night,” said Jim Bean, co-captain of Hall’s dive team. Hall exchanged his normal breathing regulator for a full-face mask and took three one-hour naps overnight. A dive team member stayed with him at all times and watched his bubbles as he slept.

Hall’s father, Jerry Hall Sr., also said he got some exercise and was in the middle of a “The Fast and the Furious” marathon.

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Update — 11:10 p.m., July 27

Jerry Hall Sr. said that after about 11 hours underwater, his son was doing well and getting ready to bed down for the night.

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Tick ... tick ... tick. The clock has started and a new world record could be reached by Thursday.

Seconds will turn into minutes, minutes will turn into hours and hours will turn into days all while one man spends the entire time underwater.

On Saturday, Jerry Hall took to the blue-green water of South Holston Lake in an attempt to set a new world record for longest fresh water scuba dive. 

He previously held the record in 2004 at 120 hours and one minute continually underwater. A Florida man broke the record in 2011 at 120 hours and 14 minutes.

An hour before he was set to take the water, he held his girlfriend's hand as he walked down the dock on his way to prepare for a week in Neptune's kingdom.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m ready to get it.”

While Hall went off to prepare for what will be almost a week in the water, his team made their preparations as well. One nervous onlooker was his dad, Jerry Hall Sr.

Hall’s mom and dad have been with him through his previous two attempts at setting the world record. It doesn’t make it easier for them just because he has done this before. 

“I’m not really ready,” Hall Sr. said. “His mom is the one that imagines everything. You’re never really ready for something like this." 

When he appeared in his wet suit a few minutes before he was to dive, he stopped to take pictures with members of his family and dive team.

The dock was lined with people wearing blue shirts adorned with ‘Dive Team’ on the front and ‘Jerry Hall World Record Dive’ on the back. Video cameras, cell phones and digital cameras were all capturing the moment of Hall entering the water. 

All Hall will have to do is stay underwater for 120 hours and 15 minutes, or five days, to set the new record. His plan right now is to stay underwater for another 24 hours to secure the record. If all goes according to plan, he will log 144 hours completely submerged. 

On an overcast day, the water was calm. Fish could be seen at the top of the water as Hall entered and the sun occasionally popped out from behind the clouds. Dive captain Jim Bean made some final preparations with Hall’s mask and then it was time to go.  

Flanked by his son and two dive captains, Hall made his way out to the platform he’ll call home. 

After getting some defogger for his goggles, he was almost ready to go. He told his mother he loved her, put his goggles on and put the respirator in his mouth. 

With applause in the background, Hall waved to the crowd and disappeared beneath the murky depths at 12:10 p.m. 

Keep checking with the Times-News throughout the week  for updates on Jerry's progress. 

Click here to see how Jerry prepared for this record


Click here for more details on what Jerry will do underwater for six days, including how he eats, drinks and uses the bathroom. 

Additional Photos

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