Tragedy Strikes Multiple Scuba Record Attempts

Two divers have perished attempting record dives

In the last week, tragedy has struck two different scuba diving record attempts in Europe.

In both instances, divers perished while trying to break deep diving records. In the first case, Polish diver Waclaw Lejko failed to surface after attempting a 275m/902ft dive in Lake Garda, Italy. The diver failed to surface and the authorities were notified; using an ROV, his body was found at a depth of 230m/754ft and has been recovered.

The second incident occurred in the water off Toroneos Bay, Greece, where Bulgarian technical diver Theodora Balabanova died while attempting to break the women’s overall depth record with a dive to 231m/757ft. While the exact details of what happened are unclear, she surfaced earlier than planned and passed away from the results of the rapid ascent. Her dive buddy and husband who was with her on the dive also suffered decompression complications, and after completing more than 3 hours emergency decompression was airlifted to hospital.

The incidents cap a bad couple of weeks for scuba diving. A British female diver died just off the Canary Islands, only a week after a British male scuba diver passed way while diving off Lanzarote.

Curious about why some folks have a compulsion to attempt such deeds? Check out the world’s deepest woman, the inspiring Verna Von Schaik, giving a Tedx talk below.

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  • Sam Helmy:
    It is sad to receive news of any one's passing. Of course, the rational of how could such a horrible thing happen always weights on a person's mind. In conflict with those deaths of the various divers is the fact that construction divers that venture down to work on oil rigs spend a week in a diving bell adapting to the compression before the dive and a week decompressing after a dive. They have nearly immaculate safety records. That leaves me wondering if the divers that tried to set the new records needed to change their tactics.