Sunday, September 4, 2011
Going to great depths to save ocean life
Scott Cassell already holds the record for longest non-stop dive but is ready to break it again while trying to preserve ocean life.
On September 17, the explorer and combat/commercial diver will attempt a 30-mile (48-kilometre) non-stop SCUBA dive from Catalina Island to Los Angeles, gathering information about shark population and what the ocean actually holds, a task that only human effort can accurately collect.
“[The ocean] is where monsters dwell,” says Cassell, who has spent more than 13,000 hours under water in his lifetime, “Where man’s imagination can become reality because it truly does have the most magnificent animals to ever have existed.”
From 1,000 ft. to 3,000 ft., he will be diving through two great white shark strike zones, and an area that has been known to contain very large Mako sharks, to calculate how many sharks there are in Southern California.
Aside from sharks, other dangers Cassell is prepared to face include hypothermia, decompression sickness, extraordinary currents, equipment failure, and physical exhaustion.
For this diver, however, his safety, although important, is not top priority.
“Every dive is a mission,” says Cassell. “And the mission is always first.”
Cassell considers himself a man who takes responsibility for everything in his world. In this case, that's the ocean and the animals that dwell underneath.
“If we, as humans, were to see the devastation, in chronological form, that has occurred in the ocean, as if it were on land we would be horrified,” he says.
To call this a successful dive, he says he needs to make it from point A to point B non-stop, collect observations, and report his findings.
At the end, he plans to produce a documentary and lecture series to expose this information to the public.
A Vancouver crew of producers and filmmakers has joined him in the mission, helping raise money for Cassell’s conservation work and documenting the record-breaking attempt.
Thanks to ARIANA KAKNEVICIUS and THE METRO