Diver captures rare sights in 156m dive deep on Great Barrier Reef

Posted: 07/13/2011 in all marine news

Daniel Bateman –

A Cairns dive instructor is reaching extreme depths on the Great Barrier Reef rarely seen before by human eyes.

Lance Robb, from Closed Circuit Divers at Kewarra Beach, has dived deeper than most on the world’s largest natural attraction.

He dropped down to an incredible depth of 156m – a new personal record – during a recent trip with James Cook University scientists searching for new life at Osprey Reef, about 90 nautical miles off Port Douglas.

The edge of the reef plunges to a depth of up to 1500m.

Mr Robb uses a special re-breathing apparatus to help him reach limits normally unsafe for humans.

The rebreather, which recycles exhaled gas while providing oxygen, has the advantage of not expelling any bubbles.

This allows for a stealth approach to diving, and the opportunity to see marine creatures normally scared away by regular diving apparatus.

On his extreme dive at Osprey in May, Mr Robb attempted to find eggs belonging to the nautilus, a deep-sea relative of the squid.

He also observed never-before-seen corals, and large silver-tip and grey reef sharks.

As he was adjusting his camera at 156m, a large grey reef shark swam straight at him.

“It probably speared down 50-60m down straight at me. It turned around about 1m away from me. It was straight at me, and then turned away,” he said.

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