It has been a while since we last published something new on this site. Not sure about where we will be in 10 years, but for now, we are still here. A lot has changed for sure. Lets do a small recap to know where we are.
1998 was the year I started freediving. I immediately fell in love and as every passion with me I wanted to know everything about freediving. The internet was already here to give me some info and at least connect to other freedivers all over the world. In 2006 I started this blog and my goal was to provide daily freediving news and I managed to do this until January 2008. Then in April 2009 I resumed my writings until November 2010. And after yet another break I came back in May 2012 to again stop writing one month later in June 2012.
Without the translations I manually did to Dutch, there are 898 articles on this website and almost all of them are written by myself. As you can imagine it’s a lot of work and to be honest I never earned a single euro with it. It was not my goal to earn money with this blog (and it still isn’t). If I look back I’ve maybe put the bar a little bit high: I wanted to write daily news articles about freediving and at some point I even started doing manual translations in my mother tongue Dutch as well. Probably one of the reasons I quit all together.
Another reason is that my passion for freediving was not only a passion for freediving but for extreme sports in general. Besides freediving I developed a renewed passion for skateboarding (which I did a lot in my youth) and snowboarding. More sports were tried out like freerunning and wakeboarding and more. My general passion for extreme sports led to the founding of my new company Shark Cartel on February 1st, 2011. Check out our website!
After two hard years of working on this company we have now an international list of customers that make use of our Shark Cartel products, experience and skill buildings in different sports we love to do. The company is running great and now that there is a little bit more time, my urge to write automatically comes back.
Not sure at the moment where that will lead to in regards with Shark Freediving. For sure I’m not going to start again with daily news post over here, but once in a while to give my opinion or share some knowledge is for sure a possibility.
The freediving world is a real world on their own. I’ve made so many friends over the years in the whole world thanks to this sport. It will be great catching up in the future for sure! So, if you want to say hi, just send me a message or leave a comment and I hope to speak to you soon again!
Oh yeah! Be sure to signup to my Shark Freediving Newsletter so you never miss a post or special message I may send.
Jorg Jansen – Founder Shark Freediving
33 year old Swiss Igor Liberti his work is amazing. He is a freediving photographer. So besides making photos of freedivers, he freedives himsel while making them.
He has a spot in the Verticalblue team for all the William Trubridge projects that need to be photographed and he’s a pretty good freediver himself with some Swiss records on his name and depths of 82 meters.
Go take a look at his work and be amazed. Great compositions!
Italian Ilaria Bonin broke two CMAS dynamic freediving records during the Italian Championships. On Friday she set the dynamic without fins record to 154,62 meters.
Today, Sunday 10th, she broke the Dynamic with fins record with a dive to 210,44 meters in a time of 2:54 minutes.
Amazing performances by the Italian freediving superwoman. Congrats!
Three days after freediver Herbert Nitsch his no limits dive to 243 meters and his problems after that dive that let him into the hospital, there is another update from Herbert his team. It’s a pretty simple press release that gives no real insight into what happened exactly.
Now the question is; did Herbert set the new record? No limits records in the last years have been very informal events where rules where checked by the team self or friends. AIDA was denied last minute during this project. So it’s for sure not an AIDA record. Did he reach this depth? Yeah, I believe he did. I mean, come on, it’s Herbert! But he needed help! It’s not very clear from the video if he needed help already below the surface or after he surfaced. If you look at the video you can see him surfacing and keeping his head below the surface, exhaling loads of air. So probably he’s already on an O2 regulator breathing.
In my opinion you need to do the whole dive by yourself without any help. I don’t really care about the no touching rule of AIDA, but I do care if an athlete stays healthy. If someone surfaces and dies, he didn’t complete the dive. If someone needs help afterwards to stay alive… Well it’s tricky. I still think about freediving as a sport, so the performance is key. I think Herbert will be the last to claim it was a succesful dive. It appears that the marketing guys think otherwise. What do you think?
“Extreme 800”- Herbert Nitsch
Amazing Recovery For The Deepest Freediver Ever
We are glad to inform you tonight that Herbert Nitsch is headed for full recovery. After three recompression treatments, he has been taken out of intensive care and is now under constant but normal monitoring.
We would like to clarify at this stage that the data collected from five instruments during the dive confirms that Herbert did reach the planned depth of 244m/800ft. Undeniably, he is the deepest freediver on earth.
As Herbert is continuously pushing the boundaries of freediving, we cannot ascertain what exactly happened to him. Assumptions, hypothesis and theories do not bring anything.
We can however confirm that there should be no long term consequences. Neurological and physical exams reflect the fact that there is no major damage. It is ascertained that the best thing for him is to get as much sleep and as little disturbance as possible. Except for direct relatives and medical personal, no visits are allowed in order to ensure he gets the required rest. Which also means that interviews cannot be considered until further notice and that any such request will be denied.
Doctors are amazed with his current state of health and admit they never expected him to be this far so fast. Hence, we may hope that his further recovery will also happen at a much faster rate than would be expected for any other person in his situation.
We are glad to be able to share these positive news with you and look forward to further updates as soon as we can provide new information. We kindly ask everyone not to assume or communicate anything else than what is being said in the present release and/or not to rely on any other information source.
Again, Herbert, his family and his whole team wish to thank all those who care for Herb’s wellbeing. Had it been anyone else than Herbert, it is unlikely the news would have been this good this fast!
For any questions regarding this press release, please write to email@example.com or call +43 676 9396858 - Sylvia Ritt (Manager of Herbert Nitsch). For further photos and underwater pictures please contact Phil Simha on firstname.lastname@example.org or +41 79 7863375.
He will make some ‘experimental dives’ to reach his target depth on ‘empty’ lungs. It appears it is all part of a larger scientific project dealing with the potential for human hibernation and the team will be collecting important physiologic data, such as heart rate at extreme depth. The project is setup so that there will be progressively deeper depth and Sebastien his hoping to reach his target, which is (was?) the same as Herbert his record. He will finish the project around the 15th.
The whole thing is supported by watchmaker Maurice Lacroix and UWATEC and they make a big marketing thing around it. The setup a blogger competition and invited the bloggers with the most votes (and least freediving knowledge) to blog about the whole thing. Thus far it’s somewhat dissapointing to see what information comes out of the project. Hopefully this will improve in the coming days.
Anyway, good luck and safe dives to Sebastien. You can read more on the project website called “The French Job“. Below some informational video about Sebatien and the project.
And here is YAGTV – Yet another great Trubridge Video. While William Trubridge his 125 meter freediving record attempt a few weeks back was a little bit too much, like maybe 10 centimers because it was so close, the 120 meter deep freedive he made before that is beautiful!
Besides world class performances, Trubridge and his team know how to bring freediving into the world with these kind of videos. They look amazing! This one I like a lot because in the video he explains with small sentences what’s going on. Great stuff!
Today, on the fist day of their 5-day long record attempt mission, Russian Family Natalia Molchanova and Alexey Molchanov were both already successful with breaking some freediving world records.
Natalia did a successful Variable Weight dive to 127 meter in 3:38 seconds. She broke the old record she set 2 years ago by 2 meters.
Alexey went for it and did a 125 meter constant weight dive in 3:52 seconds. 1 meter deeper then the previous record that was in the hands of Herbert Nitsch,
Congrats to them both! And hopefully we see some more good stuff from them in the next 4 days!
Today is the day that Herbert Nitsch would have done a 800 feet/244 meter No Limits dive. After some relocation of the boot and some delays in the diving he went under at 14:30 and after 4:20 minutes came back up after reaching his announced depth. While all other dives thus-far felt great after surfacing, this one didn’t.
Herbert immediately asked for oxygen and went down again to 9 meters for 15 minutes to complete a decompression dive. But even after this he din’t feel well and the medical evacuation procedure was started.
He was transferred by speedboat to land and flown by plane to the deco chamber in Athens. It appears he was still communicating and conscious during all of this. But it’s all not a good sign.
New update from Herbert his team:
The last information received from Athens, is that Herbert was conscious and speaking fluidly at the time he was taken to the hospital. He has been taken into the recompression chamber and is undergoing treatment. Due to the nature of such treatment, which may ongoing for a few hours, we might not be able to provide further updates tonight.
We expect to receive detailed information within tomorrow, Friday June 7th before noon and will provide further update as soon as possible via the usual channels.
And here an official press release about what happened. Are they seriously claiming a successful record?
Recovering Well After World Record of 244m (800ft)
On the picturesque Island of Santorini, near Thirasia the world record attempt for the “Extreme 800” took place at 2:30pm. Herbert was accompanied by a support team of 5 safety divers, 2 medical specialists and an experienced underwater film crew, all with specific tasks to ensure Herbert´s safety and wellbeing. The warm up and preparation phase went according to plan and he felt very comfortable and clear minded during the initial stage of his final preparation as well as after moving and strapping into his sled.
Herbert Nitsch reached the planned world record depth of 244m (800ft) and reascended without any technical mishap. He did however feel physically unstable upon reaching the depth of 10 meters, which was the planned stop for him to exit the sled and start his decompression routine. According to the drills and safety procedures that had been thoroughly trained and rehearsed, his safety divers then assisted him back up to the surface.
Upon surfacing, he was aware and conscious, took his oxygen regulator as a standard part of his routine and went back down to complete his decompression schedule between 9 and 6 meters. It became apparent during this phase that he was feeling disoriented, although breathing perfectly on his oxygen regulator. As a safety measure, the surface team than requested the emergency plan to be set in motion: as soon as Herbert surfaced again, he was moved onto the safety speed boat and evacuated to the nearest harbor under supervision of a doctor and a medic. In the harbor, the ambulance which was on standby transported him right away to the airport of Santorini; from there, he was evacuated by air ambulance (plane) directly to the naval hospital in Athens.
He undertook an initial decompression chamber treatment within less than an hour after the beginning of the dive. Past this initial treatment, he was put under sedatives to spend the night under intravenous and constant monitoring. After awakening this morning, he was placed back into the chamber for further treatment. Due to the duration of such treatment, he will still be under decompression for a few hours this afternoon and no further comment or update will be provided today.
We would like to insist on the fact that this statement is true to the point. We have no reasons to diminish the gravity of what happened or the positive outcome we are informing you about. Herbert never experienced a massive heart attack as has been communicated by wrongly informed media. We feel it is our duty to communicate accurately on these events, in the interest of Herbert as much as for the sake of the whole freediving community and any diver considering similar feat.
We will publish further information tomorrow and look forward to sharing more positive news. Herbert, his family and his whole team here in Santorini extend their grateful thanks to the emergency team which was on standby in Santorini. Our outmost thanks go to Dr Kelidis, the Divers Alert Network and all of you caring for accurate information on Herbert’ wellbeing.
No man has ever achieved what Herbert Nitsch did throughout his career. No man could have done what he did yesterday and come back alive. Despite the unlucky outcome of this dive, Herbert is and remain the greatest freediver of all times.
Ivo Truxa from Apnea.cz setup an awesome freediving award system. No emotions, no paid judges, just numbers! He created the WAFA awards based on pure ranking numbers from his database. Finally an award that I really like and is not about how many people will vote about you but just about performance. He send me the following press release.
WORLD’S ABSOLUTE FREEDIVER AWARDS 2011
Lyon, France: Thursday, May 31, APNEA.cz sponsored by Scubapro and Apneaman.cz announced the results of the annual award for the best and the most complete freediving competitors. Competitive freediving is an underwater sport where the athletes attempt to reach the best performance (time, distance, or depth) on a single breath. The WAFA 2011 lists competitors with the best combination of performances in six freediving disciplines achieved in competitions or in individual attempts officially sanctioned by one of existing freediving federations. This year, the main awards belong to Alena Zabloudilová (Czech Republic) and to William Trubridge (New Zealand). They both receive a revolutionary diving computer Scubapro Uwatec Meridian with an integrated heart rate monitor, and freediving equipment from Apneaman.cz.
- The complete results can be found at http://apnea.cz/?awards
- Freediving ranking 2011 per discipline: http://apnea.cz/ranking.html?simple+2011
- Scubapro Meridian: http://www.scubapro.com/instruments/computers/products/meridian.aspx
- Apneaman.cz freediving store: http://freedivingshop.cz
Alena Zabloudilová is a successful freediving competitor since many years, but it is her first time appearance on the list of the top 10 athletes, which she achieved thanks to balanced improvements in all disciplines. Her total score of 422.8 points is the second best rank of all times after the legendary Natalia Molchanova with incredible 540.1 points in 2009.
The second rank of Jody Fisher (Australia) is a big surprise. She was a complete newcomer in 2011. The third female rank belongs to another Czech, Jarmila Slovenčíková, who appears among the top awarded freedivers regularly.
In contrary, the first place of William Trubridge will not surprise any insider. He not only repeated his success from 2010 again, but he also managed to accomplish another historical achievement by beating his own best result of all times. In 2011, as the first man in the history, he broke the milestone of 600 points, and scored 607.7 points (over 65 points more than in 2010).
Danish freedivers confirmed their qualities this year again: Rune Hallum Sørensen finished on the second rank (third in 2010), and Jesper Stechmann ranked third.
In the country ranking, the Czech Republic did the best, followed by France, and Russia in the women category, and New Zealand won the male category, with France again on the second rank, and Denmark third.
Apnea.cz awards also the most diligent male and female competitors – those who booked the highest number of starts. In 2011 it was Junko Kitahama (Japan) with 27 starts and Grégoire Folly (Switzerland) with 23 starts. All awardees receive prizes from the event sponsors Scubapro and Apneaman.cz.
After doing a 190 meter dive 2 days ago, Herbert decided that he’s ready for THE dive. So instead of doing another deeper dive around 215 meter (a little bit deeper then the old record) he just want to jump ahead a be done with it.
“I felt so good on training in the last dives I did, that I see no need to raise the exposure level further. What’s the meaning of doing the 215m/700ft dive, when we all know that is just a meter more from where I left it 5 years ago. I don’t want to waste any more energy now. I just want to focus, concentrate and prepare for the current ultimate challenge, the 244m/800ft dive I’ll perform on Wednesday. After all, the final goal of this series of the dive, the name of the project itself is “EXTREME 800″. That’s what I want to focus on. That’s what we’ll achieve on Wednesday.”
Those are clear words. No more dive tomorrow and just preparing for the dive on Wednesday. It’s a big jump going from 190 to 244 meter at once. That’s 54 meters. But if you are Herbert, feel good and want to minimize the risk… Good luck to him!