One man is going to great depths to escape election fever – by spending 15 hours underwater in a bid to break his own world record.

Diver Sean McGahern, 38, entered the sea at 9pm last night and if all goes swimmingly he will re-emerge today at around midday.

Mr McGahern set the current world record for longest cold water open sea dive last March at 12 hours and 34 minutes.

He is attempting to break it at the same location, St George’s Bay.

“We’re aiming for at least 15 hours. I’ll spend that time exploring, cleaning the seabed and sleeping for an hour or two,” he said yesterday.

This will be Mr McGahern’s fifth world record attempt in Malta, having previously held the record for the longest warm water dive.

15

the minimum number of hours longest targeted for the cold water open sea dive

He is a founding member of the World Record Diving Malta team, which aims to promote diving as a recreational activity through fun events and competitions.

Born in England, raised in Ireland and a resident in Malta for 18 years, Mr McGahern was gushing in his praise of diving sites around the Maltese islands.

He said St George’s Bay alone is home to Angel sharks, stingrays, octopi and cuttlefish, among other fascinating creatures.

To break the record the water has to be below 15˚C.

The temperature of waters around St George’s Bay at the moment is 13˚C, which should be tolerable for Mr McGahern, who spent the winter working as a commercial diver in the icy waters of Norway.

“Thirteen degrees will start to feel pretty cold towards the end of the dive,” he cautioned.

The World Record Diving Malta team was hard at work yesterday with final preparations at Starfish Diving School, below the Corinthia Marina Hotel.

Mr McGahern will be assisted in his record attempt by two support divers who will change every hour. They will be on hand to change his oxygen tanks, give him food and drinks and prod him awake if he nods off for too long.

Sadly there will be no Sunday morning fry-up; the tastiest snack he will be able to consume underwater is a Mars bar.

The team will be clearing debris from the seabed and they are encouraging other divers to come along to help.

“We hope to see a nice crowd of divers and supporters there in the morning,” said Mr McGahern, who was planning to take a short break from preparations to vote yesterday afternoon.

Every detail of the dive will be meticulously logged and sent off to Guinness for world record verification.

The team is aiming to raise funds for the St John Rescue Corps, whose volunteers will be there for the duration of the record attempt just in case anything goes wrong. The volunteers will also be demonstrating rescue techniques to the public.

As well as Starfish Diving School and Corinthia, world record attempt is being sponsored by M&A diving supplies.

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