A new world record has been set in deep sea diving off the coast of South Africa in the Indian Ocean.
Underwater research group 'The Breathers of Inert and Nitrox Gass' (Boing) dived to a depth of 159.8 metres.
The Boing team have been developing equipment and gathering experience over the past ten years on the subject of deep sea diving.
The challenge was to attempt a dive to a depth of 160 metres in the Indian ocean off the coast of Durban, South Africa.
A team of 15 divers decided to descend to 60 metres on air alone. Then until 101 metres the divers would rely on 50% helium, 50% air, before going to 70% helium as they reached their target of 160 metres.
"It is our first time to attempt this depth, we've done a lot of deep cave diving and exploration, we've been as a team - a technical diving team involved in dives throughout the country and southern Africa for the past ten years.
Well this dive has taken us over a year to get together, particularly the logistics of the sea. We assembled in December to attempt the dive, but the sea conditions were against us with currents running up to seven knots so we postponed and aborted that expedition and we've re-assembled know in April of this year to re-attempt. At the moment, the weather looks good the conditions look good so we are ready to go."
SUPER CAPTION: Rod Taylor, Diver
The Boing team had planned two and a half hours for the dive to include decompression stops.
Rod Taylor and Ed Grimshaw were the principle divers of the crew. There were two deep support divers to a depth of 65 metres, two mid water support divers to a depth of 35 metres and two shallow support divers from 15 metres upwards. These divers had the longest duration of the dive, due to the fact they were breathing pure oxygen with periods of long decompressions.
The support divers role was to monitor equipment for signs of oxygen toxicidity and to feed the divers liquid refreshments.
Taylor was the first diver to reach the mark of 159.8 metres in a time of two hours and forty minutes.
This expedition though was very much a team effort and Taylor happily acknowledged the world record would not have been achieved without them.
"Team work was excellent, fifteen people involved everyone played their role, from a timing point of view it went very well, all on schedule the weather played it's part for us, currents were non-existent and the sea was relatively flat."
SUPER CAPTION: Rod Taylor
After the celebrating ends, the research will continue new challengers will be set and more records will be broken.