Dimitris Vassilakis, avid spearfisher and freediver, and international judge for AIDA died recently during a spearfishing trip. His funeral was on 9th September and he was accompanied by hundreds of relatives and friends. He was buried with his speargun in his hands.
Dimitris was spearfishing with 2 friends on Saturday. He left them together as buddies and went a little bit further ahead where he dived alone.
He did not appear after some time, so they went looking for him. The gun was found at 7 mtrs with a big red grouper (mycteroperca rubra), shot at 27 metres and Dimitris was found at 30 metres. He blacked out after the shoot during his ascent with the reel open (trying to hold the fish) at 7 meters and afterwards he sank. This is from information collected from his dive watch.
Dimitris was loved and respected by many freedivers and spearfishers world-wide. His friends, many whom have expressed their condolences and feelings of loss on Deeperblue, reached far and wide. Bahamas, Greece, France, Egypt, Israel, Australia, Sweden, and many others. Dimitris was on the panel of judges for AIDA International Freediving competitions and was described as the person who was "one of the few in the judges panel who always kept calm".
Friends and colleagues described him affectionately as the Greek Ninja (although he was Cypriot), and described him as a gracious host, enthusiastic, caring, considerate and extremely knowledgeable. Other friends have described him as calm, passionate, and thoughtful. His loss to the freediving world has been deeply felt worldwide and he will be sorely missed.
If you would like to send an E-mail to the family you can do so through the president of AIDA Greece. Alexandros will pass along the messages to his family and friends.
In memory of Dimitris, we have been informed by the president of AIDA Greece that the Summer Games will now be called:
SUMMER APNEA GAMES 2007
(IN THE MEMORY OF DIMITRIS VASSILAKIS)
Our deepest condolences and best wishes for the family and friends during this time of such an unexpected and sudden passing.