Fastest drift dive
Last updated: May 11, 2018 at 1:26 am
16.1 knots (29.6 km/h / 18.4 mph): Sechelt Rapids (Skookumchuck Narrows), British Columbia, Canada. It is estimated that for a 3.6 m (12 ft) tide, 757 billion litres (200 billion gallons) of seawater flow through the Sechelt Rapids in six hours. Several charter operators offer dives at the site during slack tide. Divers are attracted to the “Skook” for its abundance of marine life, especially the sessile invertebrates that cling to the rocks to catch passing plankton on the fly in the ripping current.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Diving the Sechelt Rapids during tidal movements when the current is at high velocity is obviously not recommended as it would be extremely dangerous. Usual drift dives in the Skookumchuck Narrows thus do not attain speeds anywhere near 16.1 knots. The fastest drift dives may instead be unintentional, occurring under extreme and unexpected conditions such as divers getting caught by rip currents or even a tsunami.
Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park, BC Parks
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Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.