Divers start 10-day experiment living under water to top Guinness record

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Posted by on September 13, 2005 at 06:47:27:

PONZA, Italy (AP) - Two scuba divers plunged deep underwater off Italy on Thursday, starting what they hope will be a record 10 days submerged.

Stefano Barbaresi, 37, and Stefania Mensa, 29, completed the first day living eight metres under water off the island of Ponza aided by a special dry chamber where they can change masks and eat.

They have nine days to go to reach their goal of 240 hours, doubling the 120 hours set by Jerry Hall of Bluff City, Tenn., in eastern Tennessee's Watauga Lake, according to the Guinness World Records.

"It's a unique opportunity to understand the limits of mankind under the sea," project organizer Pierfranco Bozzi said, according to the Milan daily Corriere della Sera.

The divers' new home has beds, exercise machines, table and chairs and even a television all anchored to the sea floor.

Every five to six hours, the two will be able to enter a dry chamber where they can do such things as dine and change masks as well as undergo examinations by researchers, from several Italian hospitals and Rome's Sapienza University.

Scientists will monitor the divers' heart rates and ear drums, Corriere reported.

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