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Freediving World Records in Cayman Islands

“On Sunday, September 23rd, 2001 in the clear blue waters of the Cayman Islands, two freediving athletes successfully attempted world records in the sport of freediving or breath-hold diving.

Mandy-Rae Cruickshank (Canada) and Martin Stepanek (Czech Republic) both of the Performance Freediving Team set world records in the categories of No-Limits and Free Immersion under the supervision and guidelines of the Association for the International Development of Apnea (AIDA).

Mandy-Rae became the deepest women in the world after completing a No-limits freedive to 136 meters / 446 feet. The No-limits category is where the athlete, on one breath of air, ascends and descends under the assistance of a weighted sled along a rope. At the bottom the weight is dropped and the freediver ascends with the help of an air filled lift-bag. Mandy-Rae reached the bottom in 1 minute 20 seconds, spending 2 seconds on the bottom and ascended back to the surface in a time of 1 minute 2 seconds for a total time of 2 minutes and twenty-four seconds.

Mandy-Rae surpasses the previous women’s world record by 6 meters / 20 feet held by her friend and colleague Audrey Mestre of France who achieved her record of 130 meters / 426 feet. Both Mandy-Rae and Audrey completed a tandem no-limits dive to 101 meters / 335 feet in November of 2000 off the island of Aruba.

Martin set the Free Immersion word record by achieving a depth of 90m / 295 feet in 2 minutes and 45 seconds. Free Immersion is where the athlete, on one breath of air, pulls themselves down and up along a weighted line without the assistance of fins. Martin becomes the first person in history to reach such a incredible depth without assistance from any propulsion device.

Martin replaces the Free Immersion world record of 80 meters / 262 feet held by Pierre Frolla of Monaco. Martin currently also holds another freediving world record in Static Apnea or simple breath-hold at the surface for time. His world record time was an amazing 8 minutes and 6 seconds on July 3rd, 2001 in Miami, Florida.

Divetech Ltd of Grand Cayman provided the safety and support divers and boats for both attempts. The remarkable achievements of Mandy-Rae and Martin were only made possible with the tremendous effort and work of Divetech and their professional staff of divers and support personnel.

Over 23 people were involved providing safety freedivers, scuba divers and videographers with most breathing mixed gases of trimix and nitrox at depths ranging every 20 meters / 66 feet from the surface to the deepest depths both Mandy-Rae and Martin achieved. Two doctors and two nurses provided medical support while numerous other friends provided additional support and encouragement.

Mandy-Rae is a professional diving instructor and PADI Course Director managing Rowands Reef dive shop in Vancouver, Canada. Martin is a deep-sea and commercial saturation diver residing in Miami, Florida. Both Mandy-Rae and Martin train and teach clinics throughout the world with Performance Freediving with their coach and trainer Kirk Krack and their teammate Brett LeMaster (USA) previous world record holder in constant ballast.

Detailed accounts of their world records will be made available at
Performance Freediving

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