A chain of women divers more than 80 strong linked hands this Saturday for a world record attempt, and ended up raising more than $2,800 for the Breast Cancer Foundation in the process.
86 women divers signed-in and tanked up for a shot at the record books on Women’s Dive Day at Lighthouse Point.
“The mood here before diving was good, everybody was excited, happy, lots of noise, a very hot day so I think everybody was ready to get wet and get in the water,” said participant Cara Heller.
Getting this many divers into the water quickly and safely may seem like a logistical nightmare, but Angela Pretorious told Cayman 27 it was surprisingly orderly.
“It was quick, it was simple, there was no drama,” she said.
Several dive instructors were each paired with a small group of participants.
“My group was led by Jo Mikutowicz, and we were the first down and the first back out again, but once we got down, it was just free-floating, holding hands with everybody next to you it was quite fun,” said Ms. Pretorious.
When it was all said and done, DiveTech, the event organiser, told Cayman 27 86 women had joined hands for the record.
“When you look to the right you can just see just a string of ladies going forever,” said Ms. Pretorious of her experience as a link in the human chain. “The camera guy swam on by, they gave the thumbs up, and we all just started clapping underwater.”
Video of the event will now be submitted to Diving Almanac and the Guinness Book of World Records for validation, but for many, like Ms. Heller, a world record is secondary to raising awareness and funds for breast cancer.
“My mum had breast cancer so this is a cause close to my heart,” said Ms. Heller. “I was just proud to be a part of it, proud to be part of something organised by women for a very important course, and it was just a very special moment surrounded by happy bubbles.”
“I’m very impressed by how quickly they got us in and out and everybody was safe and had a good time,” remarked long-time breast cancer advocate and diver Karen Towriss.
She told Cayman 27 events like Saturday’s world record attempt can serve as a life-saving reminder.
“We constantly need to be reminding the community that women need to go get checked, they need to get their breasts examined yearly, starting at age 40,” said Ms. Towriss.
DiveTech anticipates it may have its record attempt ratified by Diving Almanac by the end of the week. It expects it could take much longer to hear from the Guinness book.