Cyprus Mail

World’s oldest scuba diver title confirmed

Ray and the turtle Photo Stu Bailes

The Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed that 96-year-old Ray Woolley has held onto his title for the third year running as the world’s oldest active scuba diver.

“I have been advised by the Guinness Book of World Records that, at 96 years and 3 days, I am still the world’s oldest male Scuba diver, I am delighted that it has now been confirmed and I plan to keep going until I’m 100, so I shall dive again next year,” he told the Cyprus Mail on Friday.

Woolley dived on the Zenobia shipwreck in Larnaca Bay on Saturday, August 31, 2019 to a depth of 42.4 metres with a total dive time of 48 minutes.

He was joined by dozens of other divers and the world’s press gathered to report on the event, as he now has fans in countries all around the world. Woolley also stars in an award-winning documentary about his life and his love of diving: ‘Life begins at 90’, which was filmed in Cyprus

“The highlight of this dive was my encounter with a Loggerhead turtle that was caught up in the frame of the ship. I managed to set it free and was surprised to see it coming back towards me. My first thought was it was going to give me a kiss for setting it free, however, it came closer and surprised me by trying to gobble up my right wrist computer. I managed to look into its eyes and realised it couldn’t see well. This is the sort of dive one always hopes might happen one day,” he said.

In September 2019, the British World War II veteran broke his own Guinness world record as the oldest scuba diver after diving to Zenobia where he dived for 44 minutes at a depth of 40.6 metres.

The keen diver has hung up his fins for the winter and is also missing his daily swims in his pool as the water is ‘rather cold.’ However, he is still keeping fit by walking every day and keeping busy.

“I will be 97 years old when I dive next year to keep my record, but I feel just the same as I have always done. I feel very lucky about that,” he said.

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