It’s fair to say that Herbert Nitsch is a big name among free divers. In fact, the Austrian’s accomplishments in the sport have earned him the moniker “the deepest man on earth.” But Nitsch’s success certainly hasn’t come without difficulties. While setting a world record in 2012, for instance, things went horrifically wrong. As the diver rose to the surface, he ended up in an incredibly dangerous situation – and it had a massive impact on his entire life.
While free diving has many fans, it’s also an extremely dangerous sport. It involves descending as far as you can underwater – on just one breath. The risks are numerous: a free diver could easily fall unconscious and drown, for one thing. In addition, this type of diving also poses the risks of oxygen toxicity and cardiac arrests.
Essentially, free diving involves fighting against your own body as you descend into the ocean. Whenever you go underwater, you see, your lungs will serve as natural buoys that lift you upwards. But a free diver needs to ignore that pull and keep going down. And at a depth of around 30 feet, the pressure on a free diver’s lungs will cause the organs to shrink in volume by about 50 percent.