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LAUDERDALE-BY-THE SEA (CBS4) – There’s a spectacular underwater feat taking place off the shores of South Florida. A Florida scuba diver is trying to break a world record for the longest saltwater dive.

Allen Sherrod already holds the world record for the longest freshwater scuba dive at 120 hours and now he’s attempting to break the record in saltwater.

He started his attempt Tuesday morning in 15-feet of water just off the Lauderdale-by-the-Sea shoreline. He plans to be there for the next 72 hours but seas are already very rough.

“Temperature is critical,” said Sherrod before his record-breaking dive attempt. “You can’t stay in this water, temperature is 78 right now so you can’t survive without something to keep your body core warm.”

Sherrod is wearing a full body suit and has smeared Vaseline on his skin to keep from swelling. He even plays to eat and drink underwater.

“I put the bottle in my mouth, open it, squeeze the bottle, take a drink, close it, put the pod back on, take a breath,” Sherrod explained about how he’ll stay hydrated. He’ll be on a steady diet of Gatorade and Ensure but no solid foods. “Unless I find a good lobster swimming by,” laughed Sherrod.

What about sleeping? He plans to do that underwater as well.

“It’s going to be nice because the current is going to be wiggling me back and forth. It’s going to be a really nice sleep out here,” said Sherrod.

This daring scuba diver isn’t doing this feat without a reason. In addition to trying to break a world record, Sherrod is trying to bring attention to a new artificial reef off the coast of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea.

“I want more people to come out and take a look at this. Learn more about what we have to do to restore our reefs.”

With rough sea conditions, Sherrod has his work cut out for him but the dive community is confident he’ll make it to Friday morning.

“Absolutely. I don’t think he’ll give up,” said Brian Gagas from Gold Coast Scuba.

Sherrod will use up to 60 tanks during the next three days. All of them will be changed underwater, day and night, with help from a team of divers.

His biggest obstacle, aside from the rough current, will likely be boredom but he’s hoping other divers will come to visit him. So far, he’s hanging in there by listening to Jimmy Buffett tunes and texting his friends.

While Mother Nature may not be cooperating at the moment, he’s determined to pull this off.

“Oh he’ll make it.  It’s all psychological.  If he doesn’t make it won’t be his fault, it will be our fault for not being able to get stuff in and out to him,” said Bob Giguere of bGenesis Productions.

Click here to see live pictures from Lauderdale-by-the-Sea where Sherrod is attempting to break the world record for longest saltwater scuba dive.


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