Saudi diver Mohammad Al Sumaili Image Credit: Sabq

Manama: A Saudi diver is planning to spend one week submerged in open saltwater where he will eat, drink and sleep.

Mohammad Al Sumaili said that he wanted to go ahead with his adventure in the second half of July, off Haql, a town in northwestern Saudi Arabia, near the head of the Gulf of Aqaba.

He has been training for the challenge by adopting a gradual endurance programme that should see him fit and ready to set a world record in staying underwater, Saudi news site Sabq reported on Tuesday.

Al Sumaili said that as part of his training, he spent 10 hours underwater on December 10 and one full day on January 1. On both occasions, he resorted to a swimming pool.

He is planning to dive to a depth of 40 feet and spend the week there. He will be regularly advised by the medical team that will supervise and monitor his condition. The diver is expected to have a liquid diet to avoid any food-related complications during his underwater stay.

A special suit will help protect his body, he said. However, no details emerged about how he plans to sleep. Other divers in previous attempts used sun loungers chained to the seabed.

Online users were sharply divided over the merit of the adventure and offered a wide range of comments.

For some, the challenge is “a good test to the determination and perseverance” of the diver and should be honoured to the last minute.

For others, it is a high risk that should be avoided to avoid defeat or death. “This is simply a suicide attempt,” Citizen, a user, commented. “You should think of yourself, but also of your wife, children and family,” she said.

Other users said that Al Sumaili would be wrong to spend one week underwater without performing his daily prayers or going to a mosque.

“You cannot spend so many days without properly kneeling before God,” Saeed posted. “Whatever you are after cannot replace your spiritual commitment and your prayers,” he said.