Two scuba-divers succesfully cross Messina Strait using high-tech underwater scooters



Messina, 23 August 2015 - Two Italian divers won their challenge with the Strait of Messina, which they crossed for the first time in a single dive with the aid of SCUBA and underwater scooters. Cosimo Muscianisi, a young doctor from Messina, Sicily, and Dario Polimeni, a lawyer and an experienced diver from Reggio Calabria, Calabria region, have gone through the underwater stretch of about 3.3km which separates Sicily from Peninsular Italy. The two divers departed from Punta del Faro and arrived to Cannitello, remaining at a depth of 6 to10 metres for about 80 minutes, and using an underwater scooter. DAN Europe provided scientific and medical support throughout the event.

"We are very excited - declared Mr Muscianisi after surfacing. "It has been a major challenge, which we won after a long and intense effort. Underwater currents helped us sometimes, some other times just contrasted our dive, but did not prevent us from completing the challenge. Our underwater scooters have been of great support, without them such an undertaking would have been impossible - continues Mr Muscianisi. "All around us there was the deep blue of this special - I'd even say mythical** - side of the Mediterranean. Underwater you feel an incredible sense of freedom: this is what leads us to dive in a sea that first of all we love and respect. It was a wonderful experience, to be repeated."
Preparation for the challenge went on for about eight months, including the slightest details.

Cosimo Muscianisi is an ENT specialist, something highly connected to diving activities. He also is a certified DAN Instructor Trainer for first aid courses. He has been collaborating with the DAN Research division for five years now.

DAN Research carried out scientific tests to collect physiological data (such as urine density and hemoglobin) before and after the dive. Those information have been entered in the DAN Research database, the largest collection of real dives with nearly 65.000.
"I would like to thank DAN for their support in preparing for the challenge and for the medical and scientific insight. Knowing we could count on the best expert assistance during the crossing gave us the confidence to make this happen, said Mr Muscianisi.

The event was organised by Un Tuffo nel Blu Diving Centre in collaboration with Pro Loco Villa San Giovanni and in partnership with DAN Europe and the Italian Coast Guard. Event was sponsored by underwater scooter manufacturers Teseo and diving equipment retailers Nuovo Mare Srl Nautica.



**
According to Homer's Odyssey, the sea monster Charybdis was believed to live under a small rock on one side of the channel. Opposite her was Scylla, another sea-monster, that lived inside a much larger rock (...)

Charybdis has been associated with the Strait of Messina, off the coast of Sicily and opposite a rock on the mainland identified with Scylla (...) A whirlpool does exist there, caused by currents meeting, but it is dangerous only to small craft in extreme conditions.

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DAN Europe is an international non-profit medical and research organisation dedicated to the health and safety of divers. For more information about DAN's research and diver safety projects, visit www.daneurope.org

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