At 04.50 am local time this morning, Achim Schloeffel began crossing the Channel from Dover, England. He reached the French coast around 02.00 pm and surfaced after decompressing for another 160 minutes.
Using a scooter, the underwater crossing between Dover and Calais in France took only eight hours.
Eight hours darkness and cold water and a distance of around 55 kilometers through waters with strong currrents and one of the busiest ship lines in the world have been the challenge Achim Schloeffel mastered.
A complex interaction of state-of-the art dive equipment, a logistical masterpiece of the project team regarding the planning of currents, navigation and nautics and last but not least courage and stamina of the professional diver have led the ambitious project to its successful completion.
The new world record holder is very satifsfied with the result: “A number of divers have failed to dive through the English Channel. With our succesful mission today we have delivered the proof, that the techology for ambitious exploration dives has matured, yet a strong team capable in project planning and logistics and most importantly physical and mental fitness is crucial for the success.”
The issues Achim Schloeffel was facing during the dive – as expected – were the low visibility that at the beginning was far less than one metre along with the noise from freighters and tankers that passed over when he crossed the shipping lane:
‘It is already very exhausting if you can hardly see your own hand in front of your face under water and cannot afford to loose concentration for even a second. If you then add a noise level comparable to a jet landing right next to your head, it becomes unbearable.
Hence, I am happy to be done with this dive. I was able to feel myself how the very sensible acoustic systems of whales and dolphins, who communicate via sonography are tremendously affected and I can can re-assure you that you would not want to experience this for yourself.”
Being a project ambassador for the international whale and dolphin conservation society WDCS, the professional diver uses the dive to raise awareness about the increasing noise and waste pollution of the oceans and is raising funds for the last dolphins in the North Sea:
When asked what his next plans are, the founder of the dive training organization InnerSpace Explorers answers with a laugh: “First, I need to catch some sleep and then will plan my next dive. Though that will most likely be shorter and less extreme…”
More information about the dive record is available at
First, I need to catch some sleep and then will plan my next dive. Though that will most likely be shorter and less extreme…