This is the amazing moment a German professional free diver is lowered 70 metres into the darkness of a frozen Austrian lake to reach a new world record depth under ice without breathing gear.
Free diving which is also known as apnea diving refers to diving without breathing. The diver takes one breath at the surface, and then attempts to dive as deep as possible before returning to the surface.
Professionals train with techniques involving relaxation to control the pulse allowing them to stay underwater for more than 10 minutes at a time on a single breath.
But free diving in freezing water and ice takes the discipline to an entirely new level, and now 29-year-old extreme sportsman Tolga Taskin claims to have set a Guinness apnea record with a 70-metre (229.6-foot) dive under the ice, beating the previous record by 5 metres (16.4 feet).
He said: “I trained for three quarters of the year intensively for this record-breaking attempt, and every day involved several hours. That involved stretching exercises for the lungs and diaphragm, building muscle to better withstand the pressure under water of 8.5 bar, as well as breathing exercises and getting myself ready for the extreme cold.”
By way of preparing for the cold, he had a daily regular cold shower or went to sit in a yoga pose in minus temperatures in the local park.
He added that controlling the ability to hold on breath when emerging ice cold water was particularly difficult to train. He said: “If you hold your breath when it’s really cold, the body automatically reacts and the body wants to start breathing. It’s like a constant feeling and you have to learn to control it.”
The record attempt took place at the Weissensee which is a mountain lake in Austria and he had to use a motor saw and drill in order to make a hole in the 30 centimetres deep ice. He then used a rope to travel down and only returned to the surface 3 minutes later having beaten the previous record.
Tolga is the director of a Europe’s largest diving school based in his home city of Hamburg.
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