Canadian Freediver Sets New Unassisted Depth Record

“Canadian Eric Fattah became the first Canadian freediver to hold the world’s most prestigious and respected freediving record of Constant Ballast by diving to a staggering depth of 82 meters / 269 feet in a time of 2 minutes and 59 seconds on a single breath of air from the surface.

On Saturday Aug 11th around 4:00pm on a hot, sunny, Vancouver day and wearing only a thin wetsuit, goggles filled with water, nose clip, neck weights and a mono-fin, Eric took his final breath and descended into the water of the North Pacific to retrieve an official tag which would verify his world record upon reaching the surface. Trimix safety divers at the bottom filmed the successful descent to 82 meters on video.

This freedive was officiated by two judges from the Association for the International Development of Apnea (AIDA) out of Geneva, Switzerland and by the Canadian Association for Freediving and Apnea (CAFA) headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. This world record was the first ever attempted in Canadian waters.

Freediving or breath-hold diving is the sport of holding your breath
underwater with the simplest of equipment including mask, fin(s), snorkel and wetsuit. Freedivers challenge themselves for time, distance or depth all on one breath of air. Scuba divers, in contrast, breathe off a compressed air cylinder while at depth. Constant Ballast is a discipline in which the freediver kicks down under his or her own power, retrieves a tag and kicks back unassisted to the surface without the help of a weighted sled or lift bag.

Support scuba divers from H2O Maddness, boat support from BC Dive Adventures, freedivers from the local area club Freedive Vancouver, medical staff, judges and friends watched as Eric ascended from 82 meters / 269 feet successfully with his depth tag in hand in a total time of 2 minutes and 59 seconds to take the previous record from his friend Brett LeMaster of the USA whose record depth was 81 meters / 266 feet.

After two years of training for this world record, Eric now has his
sights set on training hard with his Team Canada members who are traveling to Ibiza, Spain for the World Championships where Team Canada is expected to place in the top three of 37 different participating countries. Last year at the World Cup in Nice, France, Team Canada finished 2nd overall.

This year, with Eric’s help, they will hopefully finish in the top ranks again.

For more information on freediving in Canada or Eric’s world record
attempt contact [email protected] or go to www.freedivecanada.com or www.holdyourbreath.ca

Cliff Etzel
Cliff is the former Freediving editor of DeeperBlue.com. He is now a freelance journalist and film-maker.

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