While much of the nation can relax for a few extra hours in bed this morning, one determined diver should be waking up wide-eyed at the bottom of the sea, several hours into a world record attempt.

Sean McGahern entered the water at Starfish Diving School, St George’s Bay, at 11.45 p.m. last night.

And if all goes to plan he will not re-emerge from the depths until 4.20 p.m. this afternoon, as the new cold water open sea dive world record holder.

The current record stands at 11 hours and 46 minutes, but Mr McGahern hopes to “set the bar high” and smash it by around four hours. To beat the record, the water temperature must be below 15°c and he must while away the hours at a minimum depth of 11 metres.

To occupy himself, Mr McGahern plans to clean the seabed with his team of 16 safety divers and he said other divers interested in joining the clean-up today are welcome.

But before the clean-up, Mr McGahern said he would probably get a few winks of sleep at the bottom of the sea.


hours 46 minutes – the current diving record

“I’ve slept underwater before, it’s not as difficult as you might think,” he laughed.

He is beginning the dive at night and finishing in the day as he knows from experience that daylight and sunshine will keep his spirits up during the latter stages of the dive.

Born in England, raised in Ireland and a resident in Malta for 17 years, Mr McGahern had previously held the warm water open sea dive record. He is hoping this record attempt will promote Malta as an ideal destination for divers and raise money for Dar tal-Providenza, a home for the disabled.

Qualified divers who wish to join the clean-up can dive with Starfish Diving School at the Corinthia Marina Hotel in exchange for a minimum donation of €10 towards Dar tal-Providenza.

Mr McGahern has attempted the cold water record before but fell one hour and 10 minutes short of his goal due to bad weather conditions. However, the forecast for today has made him confident he will succeed this time.

And if he does, he would like a crowd of well-wishers to be present at Starfish Diving School to see him re-emerge as a world record holder.

“We’d love people to come along, show their support on the day and add to the occasion,” he said.

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.