Joeseph Wilkie goes for record for longest underwater walk
TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. -It's not official yet, but it appears a Western New York lifeguard has broken the current world record for the longest underwater walk.
Joe Wilkie, 21, made his attempt at 1pm at the Aquatic Fitness Center, where he has worked since the age of 16 and currently serves as pool supervisor.
The current record for walking underwater is 50 meters, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Wilkie managed to smash that standing by walking 70 meters. The entire length of the pool measures 52 meters. It took him 1 minute and 15 seconds to make complete his jaunt.
"I went farther than I thought ...I took about ten more steps than I thought I would," Wilkie told WGRZ-TV.
Wilkie carried a 25 lb. weight in order to keep his feet on the bottom of the deep end of the pool, where he began his walk, and then when he approached the shallow end he crouched down...in order to keep his body under water and complete the attempt.
"When I was hearing everyone in the shallow end, it was pretty cool hearing the cheers. It really motivated me to keep going," said Wilkie, who adds that he might now take aim at the record for the world's longest underwater swim, which currently stands at 200 meters.
Those seeking to break records and have their feats mentioned by Guinness have the option of paying the travel cost and accommodations for a representative of the organization to witness the feat (which in this case could amount to several thousand dollars) or have it witnessed and documented by "civil officials", along with sufficient photographic evidence.
For Wilkie's walk, a member of the Tonawanda Town Board served as official witnesses, and media coverage is expected to provide sufficient proof to attest to the outcome.
Click on the video player to watch our story from 2 on Your Side Reporter Dave McKinley and Photojournalist Jim Herr.
You can also watch the underwater footage captured by Wilkie's friend and fellow lifeguard Tim Melber.
Click here to read Dave McKinley's latest blog.