Italian freediver Raimondo Bucher, a pioneer of freediving and underwater activities, passed away a few days ago at the age of 96. Raimondo set the first-ever officially-certified freediving world record in 1949, diving 30 meters in the Gulf of Naples, at the presence of officials of the Italian water sports federation. At this time it was a serious dive and moreover, calling federal officials to attend and certify, he was the man who got started the history of freediving as a “sport”.
In 1952 he improved his depth to 39 meters, and in the same year (1952) he also became Italian national spearfishing champion. His love for the submerged world was total and complete. He also made great achievements in UW photography (he designed the first UW camera housing with O-rings), scuba diving (he used a Gav jacket of his own design) and UWdocu-film (in 153 he led the expedition in the Red Sea for the shooting of the famous movie “Sixth Continent”).
In 1956 he discovered one the most amazing spots for archaeo-diving of the Med when he found and explored the ancient Roman submerged town of Portus Julius, off Naples Baia. He continued to dive following his various interests until he was very old: still in 1995, at the age of 85, he made a docu-film on the Klearkos wreckage at the depth of 83meters.
He once said: “You’re old when you give up enjoying the essence of life when you lose the enthusiasm that children have as their discovering the world”.