The female divers of the Cayman Islands marked International Women’s Dive Day Saturday by breaking a world record while raising funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation.
The women linked hands underwater at Divetech’s shore diving site Lighthouse Point in West Bay to form the longest recorded female underwater human chain.
Eighty-four women, including guides, instructors and recreational divers took part in the record-breaking bid. Many more attended the event to offer their support.
The existing record was set in Indonesia in May this year by a group of divers from Girls That Scuba, when 48 of them formed an underwater human pyramid.
“I wanted to host something because it was Women’s Dive Day. I am all about supporting strong women and divers,” said Divetech owner Joanna Mikutowicz. “Julia [Bradford, an instructor at Divetech] saw that there were underwater records that could be set and she came to me with the idea and said ‘we can do this.’”
Getting such a large group of divers into the water from shore at the same time to form a human chain took quite a bit of organizing, Ms. Mikutowicz admitted, but the event went ahead without a hitch.
“It was very difficult to organize. It looked like it went smoothly but the whole point is, all the organizing beforehand makes it seem like it was very easy. A lot of other dive shops helped out by providing guides and support. It turned this into an event for the whole island.”
At Saturday’s attempt in Cayman, a rope line was strung at about 15 feet underwater between three buoys.
The women swam out to the line and held hands along it, forming a human chain for several minutes, as photographers and videographers recorded the record-making effort underwater and a drone hovered overhead taking aerial shots. One of Divetech’s signature pink boats was also on standby nearby.
The chain consisted of resident and visiting divers, including some of Ms. Mikutowicz’s family members who flew in from Cape Cod specially to take part in the record attempt.
Many of the divers were clad in pink to mark the occasion, while others went a step further with special outfits for Women’s Dive Day – one donning a tutu and another a mermaid’s tail.
Well more than $2,600 was raised, with each participant donating a minimum of $25 to the Breast Cancer Foundation. Ms. Mikutowicz said it was likely the final sum would be higher, as the tallies for other donations and raffle tickets were still being counted Saturday.
Divetech has held Women’s Dive Day events over the past few years, choosing a different charity each year as a beneficiary for raised funds.
The underwater bubbles were followed by the on-land version Saturday as the celebrating divers were met with glasses of chilled Prosecco at Vivo restaurant, next to the dive shop, when they got out of the water.
The next step in the process is to get the record validated and accepted, Ms. Mikutowicz said, adding that Divetech would be sending a video and record of the dive to the Guinness Book of Records, which can take up to 12 weeks to be ratified.