Diver abandons effort for dive record

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Posted by on July 26, 2005 at 10:49:10:

In Reply to: Scuba Diver Goes For Week Underwater posted by on July 26, 2005 at 10:46:03:

PLEASANT PRAIRIE — A Wisconsin diver who planned to spend a week underwater abandoned his effort to set a world record for the longest dive Monday as storms moved into the area and a tornado watch was issued.

Rich Henry, 35, sank to the bottom of Lake Andrea in Prairie Springs Park on Sunday, where he had a recliner clamped to a steel platform 15 feet underwater.

But rescue diver Howard Cooley said Henry was forced to leave the lake around 6:30 p.m. Monday after 30 hours underwater, when lightning was seen in the area. Although Henry was safe underwater, Cooley said his support team could not remain outdoors.

Henry, of Franklin, was trying to beat the existing record of five days underwater as well as raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He was inspired partly by cancer survivor Leah Theisen who, through the organization, became a certified diver.

Theisen and Henry’s oldest daughter suffer from the same connective tissue disorder. Cooley said the team already sent a check to the foundation so Theisen and her family can go to Hawaii.

To be considered for the record, Henry needed to fulfill a Guinness Book of World Records requirement to spend 30 minutes in 30 feet of water, then move to a dive platform 15 feet below the lake surface.

Henry even brought along a waterproof DVD player.

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