A 55-year-old US researcher has broken the world record for the longest time spent living underwater without depressurisation, but he isn't finished yet – having surpassed spending 74 days at 9m in the waters off Florida, he is aiming for at least 100 days being submerged.
Professor Joseph Dituri, who has been living in Jules' Undersea Lodge in Key Largo for Project Neptune 100, said: “My goal from day one has been to inspire generations to come, interview scientists who study life undersea, and learn how the human body functions in extreme environments.”
The previous world record of 73 days, established in 2014 by two professors, was conducted at the same facility which, unlike a submarine, does not adjust for the increased pressure underwater.
Prof Dituri, who is also known as Dr Deep Sea, is working with a host of professionals running medical tests to monitor his health, and the psychological effects of being in a confined space for so long. However, he is keeping himself busy – he gets up at 5am each morning to exercise, and has been teaching his biomedical engineering classes for the University of South Florida online.
Prof Dituri spent 28 years in the US Navy, but since retiring, he has been endlessly busy – he is the CEO of the Association for Marine Exploration, a Director of the International Board of Undersea Medicine, and Chairman of the Florida Explorers Club. He is also the president of the Undersea Oxygen Clinic, which is working on the development of a breath-through treatment for healing Traumatic Brain Injury, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, and the related symptoms of PTSD, depression, and long-term mental and physical impairments.