12 hours in a depth of 20 meter over a distance of 55 kilometer – the founder of technical dive instruction association InnerSpace Explorers (ISE) is going to face a real challenge.
The English Channel connects the Atlantic Ocean through the Strait of Dover with the North Sea. It is about 563 kilometer (350 miles) long and varies in width from 248 kilometer (154 miles) at its widest, to only 34 kilometer (21 miles). In August 1875, the Englishman Matthew Webb was the first person to swim through the Channel. Ever since, it has been repeatedly a site for spectacular attempts to cross it. So far, all attempts to dive through the Channel have been in vain, the last effort took place in 2005.
In August 2011 Achim Schloeffel wants to prove that the technical means in diving are now mature enough to cross the Channel under water in one single diving without surfacing from Dover to Calais.
The German-born, who dives since the age of seven and has completed more than 7,000 dives to some extent in most difficult environmental conditions, relies for the dive on innovative, technical gear. The scooter that will pull the diver over the long distance is a further developmen of Bonex Exploration Systems. A first prototype will be tested in April. The project also receives a great interest from the part of dive computer manufacturers: The medical and technical dates of the dive will be integrated into new software for the calculation of decompression models for technical diving.
Last but not least, during the planning and preparation physical and mental aspects have to be taken into account as well. Besides the test dives, the athletic underwater fan focuses on daily running exercise as well as biking and swimming several times per week.