After the incident today at the 2015 AIDA Individual Depth Championships (#aidaworldchampionship) Pre-Competition in Cyprus, where French Freediver Guillaume Nery blacked out after diving a line that was accidentally set to 10m/33ft deeper than he was expecting, the Judging Jury have issued a formal statement around the incident. You can read the full statement below.
The key facts from the statement:
- The line was lowered too quickly and shallower depth indicators (noted by tape) were not noted
- The tape at the critical indicator (130m) was missing one piece of tape that meant the depth was indicated wrong
- Sonar may have not tracked the diver below 110m
A number of safety initiatives have been put in place, detailed in the statement below, to try and prevent this type of incident happening in the World Championships that start on Friday.
Full Statement From Judging Jury
To: AIDA Depth World Championship Athletes
From: Jean-Pol François, World Championship Jury President, Robert King, World Championship Jury Vice President, Savvas Savva, World Championship Organizer
Date: 10 September 2015
Regarding: Safety Incident at World Championship Pre?Competition
As many of you know, there was a safety incident this morning at the Pre-? Competition in Limassol, Cyprus: the competition line was set 10m deeper than the announced depth (which was 129m-?-?a world record attempt). This was a serious error. Fortunately, due to the level of his conditioning, the athlete was not seriously injured. However, he may not dive at the World Championships (which is itself serious).
Two factors contributed to this error. First, the competition line was lowered faster than it should have been, and shallower markings were not correctly noted. Second, the line was stopped with two red tape lines and three white tapelines above the surface (the marking for 129m). However, one piece of white tape had come off: meaning the line was actually set at 139m. In addition, the sonar unit may have failed to track the athlete below 110m.
We will work over the next days to ensure athlete safety at the AIDA Depth World Championships:
– All competition lines have been removed from the water, and will be re-? measured and marked with paint or permanent marker (in addition to tape), so that even if a piece of tape comes off, the marking will still be clear. This will be done before training starts on Saturday (there is no training Friday).
– At the start of each competition day, each line will be lowered into the water with depth gauges to confirm that markings match depths. Lines will be lowered slowly enough that intermediate markings can be noted (each 10m).
– On each competition day, there will be a starter on each line. This will allow the depth to be checked before the first athlete, and the line lowered slowly to the first competitor’s depth.
– We will work with the sonar unit to ensure either than it can track athletes to 130m, or get another sonar unit that can.
Athletes and coaches should feel free to contact any of us with any questions you may have.