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Egyptian Scuba Diver Ahmed Gabr Plunges 1,066 Feet to Set World Record

CAIRO – An Egyptian scuba diver set a new world record Friday when he reached a depth of more than 1,000 feet — about the height of New York’s Chrysler Building. Ahmed Gabr, a retired military officer, said he felt "unbelievable" when he emerged from the Red Sea. Gabr was met by a Guinness World Records representative who handed him a certificate for the world’s deepest male scuba dive. The 14-hour feat took Gabr 1,066 feet down into the abyss near the Egyptian town of Dahab, where he works as a diving instructor. Gabr began training for the record in 2010 and beat the previous record set by South African Nuno Gomez by 16 feet.

"I traveled with nine tanks and decompressed for 14 hours [on the way back up]," he told NBC News. Deep sea divers risk drowning, equipment malfunction or decompression sickness. But there were magical moments for the former member of Egypt’s special forces: "A baby [white tip oceanic] shark hung out with me for six hours," he said.

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- Charlene Gubash