Underwater expeditions and world records seem to go hand-in-hand. Wacky stories of record-breaking feats under the water have filled recent headlines.
In February, more than 170 divers created the longest underwater human chain in recorded history, while in December nearly 160 “Scuba Santas” blasted the world record for the most diving Santas during one chilly dive trip in England.
But one of the most recent record-breaking feats below the surface was also one of the most impressive.
British-born diver William Trubridge recently smashed his record for free diving with a late Spring descent of 122 meters, or just a little more than 400’ ft. So how deep is 122 meters?
Essentially, it’s like swimming to the top of the Statue of Liberty or Big Ben more than four times and accomplishing that task in a little more than four minutes. He held his breath for a full 4 minutes and 24 seconds!
His “new” record beats his formally held record. This dive is the 16th world record the diver has broken during his freediving career, which officially began in 2007 when he broke his first global record.
The new record-breaking feat was not without difficulty. While the descent went smoothly, with Trubridge reaching his target in two minutes and 15 seconds, the rush back to the surface was marred with an unexpected challenge.
At the bottom mark, Trubridge was unable to secure a Velcro tag picked up from the “plate,” or the point that competitors dive to. As a result, he slightly panicked on the ascent back to the surface.
Being panicked or hindered in any way can be a fatal mistake during freediving. The sport requires divers to plunge to great depths without any equipment. Divers have no tanks, breathing apparatuses or even fins, and must simply follow a guide rope to the bottom marker and back.
When Trubridge accomplished this feat, he did have scuba diving spotters to confirm that he reached the mark, video the event from start to finish and also ensure that he was able to descend and ascend without any critical issues. This dive was particularly special for him, as his entire family made the trek with him to witness the event.
Trubridge has no plans of slowing down his world-record shattering streak! He is scheduling additional freediving trips to the Bahamas, which serves as an ideal spot for his descents, thanks to its wide blue holes with no obstructions for the plunge.
And though scuba diving and freediving are obviously two different pursuits, the idea that humans are reaching new depths below the surface is an inspirational testament to just how far we can go underwater, and how much there is to accomplish.
Need more information on freediving gear? Check out our gear section. If you live in the Dallas area, swing by our shop in Carrollton, and we’ll be happy to chat with you!