The resulting chain was claimed to have stretched over more than 270m and to have broken the existing record, set by the Cesena Blu dive-school off Italy’s Adriatic coast in May this year.

However, Guinness World Records has told Divernet that the Italian record still stands pending ratification of the Australian claim. The Italian divers had formed a 270m chain with 308 divers, diving for a total of 26 minutes.

Charter-boat operator Luke English, who came up with the idea of the Australian challenge, had first applied to GWR when the record stood at only 179 divers.

After the Italians raised the bar he asked the Dive Industry of Victoria Association to co-ordinate the bid, believing it would stand a better chance of success. 

The association also hoped to promote diving in the area, where it says that underwater attractions include four British submarines.

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