Ex-soldier from Hornchurch in diving world record bid

PUBLISHED: 15:00 14 February 2016

Mark Colman. Picture: Debby Richardson

Mark Colman. Picture: Debby Richardson

Debby Richardson

A former soldier is making a second attempt to claim an underwater endurance world record to raise £1million for charity.

Ex-Royal Engineer and veteran diver Mark Colman, 49, will take the plunge in June 2017, exactly five years to the day since he unofficially broke the record.

Mark, from Hornchurch, has been unable to claim the record he achieved in 2012 because of a lack of proof, even though he spent four days, four hours and 22 minutes underwater.

His next attempt will raise funds for four charities close to his heart – Lancashire-based Veterans In Communities, Pilgrim’s Bandits, Inspired Youth in Canada and Soldiers off the Streets.

He said: “I am 50 next year and so this is my last chance to get the record. I want to stay underwater for five days.

“Guinness allows a five minute break every so often with an endurance challenge, but I want to stay in the water the whole time.

“I won’t be able to sleep and I will have my food specially created and will eat it by using a straw.

“The last time I did it, when I came out of the water I had had no sleep for four days. I was hallucinating, falling over and my hands were absolute agony.

“When I said I was going to do this the first time people said I was crazy, now I am even crazier.”

Mark will complete the record attempt at the Underwater Studio in Basildon.

The father of four and grandfather of three served for 10 years in 23 Engineer Regiment at Osnabruck in Germany.

He was fine when he came out of the army, but in 2010 he fell on hard times, bringing up one of his daughters alone in a 40ft container behind a pub. He turned to Veterans in Action after two tragedies – his friend died in a diving accident and he lost his sister.

To follow his progress check out his blog or his Facebook group World Record Dive Challenge 2017.

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