Four-time Danish World Champion freediver Stig Severinsen announced this week that he had achieved a new Guinness World Record by swimming 250 feet (76.2 meters) underwater — without fins or even a wetsuit — below one-meter-thick ice on a single breath of air.
In doing so, Severinsen broke his own previous Guinness World Record for the same stunt of 236 feet set in March 2010.
Recounting the feat afterward, Severinsen said that 25 seconds into the dive,
“I’m so numb, . . . the cold just doesn’t matter. I’m way beyond that point. I have to just keep working, keep working. . . . Pushing my body to the maximum limit. If your mind gets stiff, like your body, then the whole thing can be a disaster because if my mind freaks out, you’re going to panic, and panic is what kills. I just sleep, almost in that emptiness, in that freedom; I kind of do everything in a slow motion.“
Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief of Guinness World Records, comments:
“Stig has more than proved himself worthy of a Guinness World Records certificate. Some of our record achievements are easy to attempt but not necessarily easy to beat, and some attempts — like these — are difficult to attempt AND difficult to beat. For Stig, it has always been about pushing the limits of what a human body can do, and his record-breaking success is testament to his technique, attitude and physicality.“
Dan Korn, senior vice president and head of programming at Discovery Networks Western Europe, comments:
“At Discovery, we’re fascinated by people who are willing to dedicate themselves to achieving the truly remarkable. Stig is one such individual and it was a great privilege for us to be able to film him as he attempted these three world records. It also provided an opportunity to explore some ground breaking physiological and sports science, which — through Stig’s endeavours — led us to the very limits of the human body’s capabilities.“
Last month, Severinsen broke another Guinness World Record by swimming 500 feet below the ice with fins and a wetsuit.