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Monday, September 25, 2023

Florida’s ‘Dr. Deep’ resurfaces after a record 100 days living underwater – Stars Obituary

A college professor who spent 100 days underwater in a diver’s cabin in the Florida Keys resurfaced Friday and faced the sun for the first time since March 1.

Dr. Joseph Dituri set a new record for longest time spent underwater without decompression during a stay at Jules’ undersea cabin submerged 30ft (9.14ft) in Key Lagoon meters) deep underwater.

The dive explorer and medical researcher broke the previous record of 73 days, 2 hours and 34 minutes set in 2014 by two Tennessee professors at the same hotel.

“It’s not about the record,” Duturi said. “It’s about expanding human tolerance for the underwater world and for isolated, confined and extreme environments.”

Also known as “Dr. Deep,” Duturi is an educator at the University of South Florida, holds a doctorate in biomedical engineering, and is a retired U.S. Navy officer.

After spending 74 days underwater last month, Guinness World Records listed Duturi as the record holder on its website. The Marine Resource Development Foundation, which owns the hotel, will ask Guinness to certify DeTuri’s 100-day mark, according to foundation director Ian Koblick.

Dituri’s project, called Project Neptune 100, is organized by the foundation. Unlike submarines, which use technology to make the internal pressure roughly the same as the surface pressure, the cabin’s interior is set up to match the higher pressure underwater.

The project aims to learn more about how the human body and mind respond to long-term exposure to extreme stress and isolation, and is designed to benefit marine researchers and astronauts on future long-duration missions.

During the three months and nine days he spent underwater, Duturi performed experiments and measurements every day to monitor his body’s response to increasing pressure over time.

He also met with thousands of students from 12 countries online, taught USF courses, and welcomed more than 60 visitors to the habitat.

“The most satisfying part was interacting with the nearly 5,000 students who cared about maintaining, protecting and restoring our marine environment,” Dituri said.

He plans to present Project Neptune 100’s findings at the World Extreme Medicine Conference in Scotland in November.

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