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Ray the record breaker

The Joining Forces programme has now ended

Joining Forces was an Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust supported programme in partnership with SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. It was delivered by 12 local projects across England by local Age UKs and SSAFA branches. After 3 successful years, the programme has now ended. Many of the pages in this section will still be useful for information and advice. Alternatively, you can look at the relevant sections of the Age UK website.

DiverWorld War 2 veteran Ray Woolley, 95, is living, breathing, diving proof that anything is possible after breaking the record to be the world’s oldest scuba diver.

Even more impressively, the record he broke was his own! Ray, who served as a radio operator in the war and has been diving for 58 years, managed 44-minutes at a depth of 40.6 metres. He did so around the shipwreck of the Zenobia, a cargo ship that sank off the coast of Larnaca in Cyrus, the country he now calls home, in 1980 (when Ray was a spritely 58-year-old.) Ray has been diving at the site since 1982. His last record, set when he was 94, was to 38.1 metres for a duration of 41 minutes.

“I feel great,” Ray told the press seconds after climbing aboard the boat he’d earlier launched himself from. “It’s lovely to break my record again and I hope if I can keep fit I will break it again next year.”

“I am trying to prove to myself, and I hope to other people, that exercise, especially when you are getting to around my age, is most important to do,” he said later. What an inspiration he is!

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Last updated: Jun 16 2020

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