Saturday, September 26, 2020

Freediving Legend Enzo Maiorca Dies At 85


Italian Freediving Legend Enzo Maiorca, best known for his rivalry with Jacques Mayol in the 1960’s & 1970’s, has died aged 85.

Maiorca was probably best known for the inspiration of the Enzo character in the Luc Besson film The Big Blue.

Maiorca was born in 1931 and set a number of Freediving records from 45m in 1960 to 101m in 1988 which was his last competitive dive.  Like most divers of that era, his main discipline was Variable Weight (VWT) although he set a number of Constant Weight (CWT) records as well.  During this time he competed with other legends of the early Freediving competitive era such as Brazilian Amerigo Santarelli, Teteke Williams, Bob Croft and Jacques Mayol.

Known as the “Lord of the Deep” tributes have been coming in.  Umberto Pelizzari had this to say on a Facebook post:

“Today it’s a very sad day, but I would like to remember You with your smile, your kindness, your love for the sea. I’ll miss you ‘Old Lion’ ! Rest in Peace Enzo…and thanks for everything.”

Umberto Pelizzari & Enzo Maiorca
Umberto Pelizzari & Enzo Maiorca

He died in his hometown of Siracusa in Sicily, Italy on 13th November 2016.

Stephan Whelan
Stephan Whelan
Stephan is the Founder of His passion for the underwater world started at 8 years-old with a try-dive in a hotel pool on holiday that soon formulated into a lifelong love affair with the oceans. In 1996 he set up and helped grow the site to be one of the largest diving websites around today.



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