Jerry Hall got a surprise visit from his girlfriend, Tina Fuller, Sunday. Hall is going for the world record for longest fresh water scuba dive. He is halfway to the record of 120 hours 14 minutes. Photo contributed.
Update 12:56 p.m. August 1, 2013
Jerry Hall has officially broken the world record for longest fresh water scuba dive. He broke the record of 120 hours and 14 minutes around 12:25 p.m. today. He plans on staying in the water until noon on Friday. Check back with the Times-News for a story when he comes out of the water tomorrow.
4,320. That is how many minutes Jerry Hall has logged underwater so far. Only 4,320 to go until he plans to exit the water and set a new world record in the process.
Hall has passed the halfway point in his attempt to break the world record for longest fresh water scuba dive. He went into the water at 12:10 p.m. on Saturday, July 27.
He was in good spirits on Wednesday.
“I’m doing good,” Hall said through a speaker on the surface. “I’m very confident we will break the record.”
Hall has filled most of the 259,200 seconds underwater so far by watching television. The TV was constructed for him by a member of the Kingsport Fire Department.
Dive Captain Jim Bean has said the TV has taken up most of Hall’s time. Hall’s dive team collected books and music for him to use when he gets bored. He hasn’t used them. The team set-up swim lines so he could swim if he was bored. He has swam once.
“He likes (the TV),” Bean said. “Time goes by quicker for him...He is doing so good mentally.”
Hall said the TV has made a huge amount of difference this time around. He set the record for longest scuba dive before in 2004. The only problem he’s found with the TV is he can’t eat popcorn.
On the surface, the dock over his platform resembles a command center from NASA. Wires, ropes, computers and a couple of television screens are stacked on tables. One of the screens has a live feed of Hall underwater while the other has the movie he is watching underwater. The second screen was installed after Hall complained he had watched the same M.A.S.H episode four times in a row because the team kept stopping and starting the DVD without knowing what episode it was on.
A pulley system is also set-up at the edge of the dock. Hall uses a magnetic message board to communicate with his team on the surface, and his girlfriend.
Tina Fuller, Hall’s girlfriend, is anxious to see him when he comes out of the water on Friday. But she couldn’t wait until then, so she planned a surprise for him.
On Sunday, after Hall’s first 24 hours underwater, she made a surprise visit to him. Fuller is training this week to get her full diving certification, without Hall’s knowledge, as a surprise for him.
When she went under, Hall didn’t know she was there because he was watching TV. So she swam behind him and hugged him.
“I was not even expecting that at all,” Hall said. “I turned around and there she is. It took my breath away to say the least.”
Fuller could only stay about twenty minutes. She said they wrote notes back and forth. Hall asked how his eyes looked to which Fuller replied they looked fine. He showed her his hands, which Fuller described as ghostly white. The couple held hands and hugged. She went back down on Monday and spent around 40 minutes with him. After going through the training, she appreciates how hard the task is that Hall has undertaken.
Now he writes her notes about when they are going to visit his favorite diving spots and tells her he can’t wait to see her.
Sleep has been sporadic for him so far. The first night he slept maybe three hours, but Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning saw him get more sleep. He slept seven hours that night and took another nap in the morning.
The weights Hall uses to even out the distribution of weight when he sleeps has made him sore, Bean said. Some of the food he has eaten has also given him heartburn. When Hall complains about soreness or heartburn, the team sends him down an Aleve or Zantac to help him out. He gets the pill, takes a breath and removes his regulator, pops the pill in, spits out the lake water and puts the regulator back in. He does this same routine when brushing his teeth or eating.
He said the fish come by and get scraps when he eats and he hasn’t seen a snake so far, so he’s happy about that. Hall said he feels good physically so far.
Hall is also trying to raise money for Speedway Children’s charities along with breaking a world record. A party is planned for Saturday, the day after Hall is scheduled to come out of the water. A raffle will be held along with a BBQ cook off.
Bean is confident Hall will break the record.
“He is one day and 23 hours from the record,” Bean said. “After that he can come up anytime he wants to.”