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What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

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What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#1  Postby Narco » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:57 pm

Divers, Something to read about:


We published the following autobiographical profile, in Norman Lancefield's own words, in Scuba Diving's November/December 2011 issue. At 91, Norman is believed to be the world's oldest active diver. We are inspired by Norman's passion for diving, as well as 15-year-old Lucas Barroso's determination to get his rebreather certification — the youngest person to achieve that certification in Canada, if not the world. Here are their stories.

The World's Oldest Diver

I’m 91 and have been diving with the same gear since 1970. Like me, it’s still going strong after more than 500 dives. My hips don’t stick out far enough, so I can’t wear a weight belt; instead, I rely on a harness and I make my own weights with melted lead shaped in loaf tins. This setup has worked for me in Malta, Mexico, Turkey and my favorite destination, the Gulf of Aqaba in the Red Sea. I have swum with sharks and dolphins, but at my age you don’t need obvious excitement. Even a hermit crab can be thrilling — they’re funny creatures, living in second-hand seashells.

Diving isn’t a dangerous sport; it is a hazardous sport and my goal is to avoid the hazards. A buddy helps me into the water, but after that, once I’m in I do fine.

I don’t do strong currents — those days are long gone. I don’t go too deep either. I’m not as physically fit as I used to be, but that’s why I like diving: I tell anyone looking to take up the sport that you don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer. I’m noticeably slow in the water, but I still swim 500 meters three times a week.

Because of this, I could swim all day if I had to. It’s important to me that I keep up with my buddies in the Barry Sub Aqua Club here in Wales. I also make a point of testing my gear regularly. It sits in a closet all winter, so I kit up in a local pool before each season. I’d rather find problems when I am only six feet deep.

Only once have I been scared in the water. My mask flooded completely — I had placed part of the seal atop my hood. I lit my torch, spun wildly in a circle and realized I had lost my buddy. But I surfaced after one minute and returned to the boat. There was my buddy waiting for me.

It’s important for divers — of any age — to know when to say no. You don’t want to put a buddy at risk. I had a mild attack of the flu 18 months ago, and had to sit out on a planned dive. But for the most part, I stay fit. As long as I can keep going and not be too much nuisance to my buddy, I will keep diving.

Source: http://www.scubadiving.com/training/advanced-skills/what-its-be-worlds-oldest-diver
Last edited by Narco on Wed Dec 21, 2011 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#2  Postby run » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:32 am

He swim 500m 3 x a week!!
Definitely he is a lot fitter than me.
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#3  Postby Narco » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:59 pm

He definately is! I wonder at what age is the oldest diver in Malaysia.
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#4  Postby oldturtle » Fri Dec 23, 2011 1:40 am

white man likes to exaggerate.....nah !..dont believe a word..
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#5  Postby run » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:24 am

it seems that old timers like to go to arabian sea. I look at some of the photos and videos , doesn't seem to have any large corals like us in the tropical waters and no formation of rocks and swimtru. 
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#6  Postby mamakpenang » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:52 am

i like this parts haha....
" I have swum with sharks and dolphins, but at my age you don’t need obvious excitement. Even a hermit crab can be thrilling — they’re funny creatures, living in second-hand seashells."
we can learn something from this old school diver, for me any dive is a good dive, doesn't matter what i see, just dive... :D
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#7  Postby Narco » Sat Dec 24, 2011 12:13 pm

The young ones going for pelagics.. perhaps one day most of us will appreciate the existance of little creatures. :D
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#8  Postby mamakpenang » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:21 am

Narco wrote:He definately is! I wonder at what age is the oldest diver in Malaysia.


AFAIK there is a guy in penang diving penang bridge to check the bridge structure & pilling and still doing it.
he is Mohamad Abdullah 65 years old, of Fast Diving & Engineering Sdn Bhd, eX navy for 13 years.
haven't met him yet, maybe one day.......insyaAllah.
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#9  Postby Tuckfook » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:59 pm

There is a Free Diver in his early 70's in Penang. Still going strong.
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#10  Postby mamakpenang » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:06 pm

wow thats good,
maybe i can find him & learn 1 or 2 thing from him, any name, address to contact?
are u in penang tuckfook?
last month i have a chance to meet Mohamad Abdullah under the bridge for the first time, he was cleaning his boat, have a chit chat with him, from the look, he don't look like 65 year old, maybe 10 years younger & still going strong.
he will be checking the bridge structure in march or april 2012, maybe i can follow if he agree & the timing was right....hehe....maybe B-)
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#11  Postby Narco » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:49 am

Maybe the one in early 70s is Tuckfook himself? haha..
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#12  Postby Tuckfook » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:58 pm

Ha ha, I'm not yet 60 but nearly there. If you guys are from Penang then you might have heard of a spearfishing group called Foxbat, well one of the divers is still going strong at 70+ but waters have not been very conducive for free diving n spearfishing recently.


I have not heard of this diver around Penang Bridge, is he a commercial diver ?  My associates are working on the second link, have not heard of him.
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#13  Postby mamakpenang » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:40 am

tuckfook,
spearfishing, wow interesting, me & narco are in penang island, we should met & have a drink or two hehe.... B-)
mohamad abdullah is a commercial diver, fisherman in batu uban jetty near the bridge call him cik mat.
his company Fast Diving & Engineering Sdn Bhd, i believe his company doing quarterly checking on the penang bridge structure.
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Re: What It's Like ... To Be the World's Oldest Diver

Post Number:#14  Postby Narco » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:30 pm

Yes, a drink is a must indeed. We are not much of a freediver. More of a pool diver it is.. Hehe.. A misfortunate for diver living in Penang although we are surrounded by sea.
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