One Breath, One Catch: This Spear Fishing Adventure Is Amazing
 
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One Breath, One Catch: This Spear Fishing Adventure Is Amazing

With this being said, here’s a look at Antonio and the world of freediving. Freediving is usually associated with competitive apnea or competitive breath-hold diving. For some, freediving is a another term for breath-hold diving, but others regard it as a specific underwater activity.

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The extreme sport of competitive apnea where competitors go great distances and depths is what garners the most public attention.

Freediving goes back as far as the late 20th century and has since been applied to many other diving activities…

Diving history notes that the term free diving was in use by American open circuit scuba divers in the early 1950s… However, this was appropriately changed as the American version used breathing assistance.

What Is Freediving? – Freediving is underwater diving that simply relies on the divers’ ability to hold their breath until they can eventually resurface. Since the swimmer isn’t relying on scuba gear when they’re submerged, it can be very dangerous in the event of being trapped underwater. Other well known freediving activities include:

  • Snorkeling
  • Underwater Target Shooting
  • Any underwater hunting that isn’t spear fishing
  • Underwater Hockey
  • Underwater Rugby
  • Underwater Football
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Freediving Photography
  • Non-competitive and competitive spear fishing

Freediving & Food

For centuries, freediving has been used to gather food, harvest resources, and aid military campaigns. Ancient cultures had to strictly rely on freediving with no assistance as it was the only way to possibly do so. However, it was possible for them to eventually use leather breathing bladders and reeds to stay underwater for longer periods of time. Divers of past and present still face the same dangers as blacking out during a breath hold and decompression sickness, which makes diving in antiquity very dangerous.

It’s believed that commercial freediving began in Ancient Greece as Homer and Plato mentioned the use of sponges for bathing. Aside from sponges, freedivers would harvest shells, red coral, and fish from the sea floor. To help speed their descent to the floor, divers would use weights to descend as far as 98 feet from the surface to collect treasures in the sea.

In addition to harvesting, freedivers were also utilized for shipwrecks as they could salvage what they could from the seabed. Certain circumstances would require them to retrieve the most valuable pieces from the wreckage. The jobs eventually became so dangerous that the Lex Rhodia law was put into place so that divers were correctly compensated for how deep they went salvaging. For example: if a diver went to a wreck that was deeper than 50 feet, they were given one third of the salvage. If they went further than 90 feet, they received half.

Famous FreediversPhoto Credit: divenewswire.com

In the competitive world of freediving, there’s plenty of big names that continually push the sport to new depths (no pun intended). Here’s a look at a few names that have broken records and kept the sport alive and well:

  • Audrey Mestre – Audrey was breaking so many records in the women’s freediving world that the only competition left was herself. She first broke a women’s freediving world record for diving 410 feet and broke it a year later by diving 427 feet. Sadly, she drowned attempting to break her own record (again) that exceeded 525 feet.
  • Pipin Ferreras – Pipin is currently known as the greatest land-grown diving mammal since his lung capacity allows him to hold his breath for an incredible fourteen minutes.
  • Jacques Mayol – Jacques is known as “Dolphin Man” due to his freediving exploits and relationship with dolphins.

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Since he was a child, Ethan has fished on a weekly basis. Ethan always loved to journal and has kept detailed fishing logs since his first time on the water. This passion for documenting his fishing adventures is what lead him to writing.
Ethan writes about fishing but also has written articles on natural history, travel, outdoor recreation, boats, fishing adventures and more.
With a B.S. in in Wildlife Ecology, Ethan also appreciates conservation and the practice of catch and release. Ethan's other interests include camping with his dog and playing the guitar and drums for his small band.