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After Herbert Nitsch Broke His Free Diving Record, His Situation Took A Turn For The Worse

Herbert Nitsch is a big name among free divers. The Austrian’s accomplishments have even earned him the nickname “the deepest man on earth.” But that doesn’t mean that all of his dives have gone swimmingly. While setting a world record, in fact, 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.

A defining accident

Interestingly, Herbert Nitsch became involved in freediving by accident, and yet it eventually came to define his life. Nitsch first came across the sport due to a common mishap: the airline he was traveling with lost his luggage. And unfortunately, that included all of the gear that he was planning to use for a scuba expedition.

Making the most of it

But Nitsch didn’t want to waste the trip, so he simply went diving without the equipment. And in the process, he found himself unwittingly partaking in a whole new form of underwater risk-taking. “[I] unknowingly trained for free diving without knowing that this sport existed,” Nitsch told Just Wanderlust in February 2019. But as it turned out, Nitsch was a natural at free diving.

Changing tides

“A friend of my father then noticed how long I can stay down, and he was quite fascinated and tried to persuade me to set an Austrian record,” Nitsch explained. And remarkably, that record was only around six feet below a dive that Nitsch had already done. “In the end, I set up my first free diving record one year later at an international competition,” he said.

Planning for the worst

One of Nitsch’s previous jobs helped him a lot when it came to taking up free diving. “In the past, I flew as a pilot for an Austrian airline. And in this profession, you are taught to think analytically and always have a way out,” Nitsch told Just Wanderlust. “At the crucial moment, one must not think twice but must retrieve the plan immediately.”

Relying on his training

“Because of my work as an airline captain, and because I lived in a land-locked country — Austria — I had very little time to free dive and train in the ocean,” Nitsch told Adrex in 2016. “But I did have time to think about training and free diving in the most efficient way. So, I developed my own free dive training, consisting mainly of ‘dry training.’”

Pushing the boundaries

And Nitsch’s training regime is truly remarkable, particularly when it comes to the taxing skills that he has to practice. “Packing is a technique where I go sip by sip. I compress extra air in my lungs, probably twice as much as normal,” he informed UPROXX in 2017. This is something that took Nitsch a lot of effort to perfect — as is usually the case when a person pushes the boundaries of their body.

Controversial technique

Nitsch’s new abilities didn’t come to him overnight. “It’s something I’ve practiced,” he told UPROXX. It’s also worth noting that packing is not always considered to be a positive technique in the freediving community. Those who oppose the method claim that it causes a diver’s body to become tense, boost their heart rate, and make them more buoyant.

Different from the norm

Even Nitsch himself admits that his diving processes are “different to the norm.” He spoke about the subject with Adrex in 2016. “To date, my methods are still considered controversial in the freediving scene,” he said. “However, 33 world records later, they have proven to be very effective.” And it’s hard to argue with that — although some people certainly have.

Surviving the spotlight

Yet Nitsch thinks that the most vital part of free diving lies in your mental state. “Most free divers are a bit older, because then you’re mentally stronger. And this is the key factor of free diving — that you stay very calm,” he told UPROXX. The pressure doesn’t just come from the ocean, but also from having the spotlight on you as a sportsperson.

Feeling the pressure

“Imagine the situation that you are there on the dive rope, setting your record, and you have all the eyes on you — the media, the judges, the safety divers,” Nitsch explained to UPROXX. “And you have to be in a mode like waking up on a lazy Sunday and turning back around in bed. Because if you are not relaxed — really relaxed — you need so much more oxygen.”

An rare accident

But for all of Nitsch's training, he suffered an uncommon accident back in 2012 that almost cost him his life. In June of that year, he went to Greece to compete in the “No Limits” field of free diving. And his goal was to descend to 801 feet. In the end, though, the distance that the diver reached underwater was even more impressive: 831 feet. But the achievement came at a heavy price.

Failed safety

It’s important to note that Nitsch had taken a great many safety precautions before the dive. He had undergone years of training for the event, and at the time, he was the holder of the 700-feet record. Even his sled — the device that free divers use in order to descend as far as possible — had been designed so that almost nothing could go wrong. Unfortunately for Nitsch, though, it did.

Losing consciousness

That’s because Nitsch suddenly became unconscious while he was under the water as a result of the high levels of nitrogen in his blood. He then failed to take the required underwater decompression stop — a precaution that prevents the serious problem of decompression sickness from developing. Seeing him unresponsive, the safety divers removed Nitsch from his sled and brought him back to consciousness. But the biggest crisis was still to come.

The biggest crisis

Nitsch descended again to around 30 feet underwater and took in pure oxygen. But this didn’t have the desired results. Instead, severe decompression sickness — caused by the nitrogen in Nitsch’s blood — was taking over. He was losing feeling in one side of his body, and he was beginning to feel severely disorientated. Decompression sickness is not something to be taken lightly.

A killer problem

In fact, it can easily kill. And as a result, Nitsch was rushed to a hospital in Athens, Greece, where he was placed in a decompression chamber. But once he was out of it, the news wasn’t terribly positive for Nitsch. The doctors said he had DCS-type 2, as the nitrogen in his blood had led to him suffering strokes.

A dire prognosis

Unfortunately, this meant that Nitsch had suffered severe neurological damage. Following the diver’s treatment in Greece, he was moved first to Germany before being taken to his native Austria to begin his recovery. And it would certainly be a long process. Nitsch’s vision and balance were impaired, and he was informed by doctors that he would be confined to a wheelchair permanently.

Down and out

At his lowest point, Nitsch wasn’t even able to recall the name of his closest friend because his brain had been so badly affected. Unsurprisingly, as he went through rehab, he became more and more depressed. Yet the free diver’s willpower – the determination that had gotten him so far in the first place – still remained. And so, Nitsch vowed that one way or another he would get back to his former self again.

Getting it back together

Nitsch left the rehab facility and began working on putting his body right, sometimes even ignoring instructions from his caregivers. For instance, he started eating “super foods” and partaking in physical exercise. But gradually, Nitsch’s weakened limbs began regaining strength. Doctors were amazed, although they put it down to his fitness and athleticism prior to the accident.

One year on

And exactly one year after the traumatic event, Nitsch released a statement on social media. “On June 6, 2012, I almost lost my life while pursuing a new world record,” he wrote. “First and foremost, I would like to thank all those who believed in me and supported me since the record. It played a big role in my wellbeing, and I can’t thank you enough for the concern — the care you gave to me.”

Doing well

“I am doing well now,” Nitsch continued. “There are still some physical challenges to deal with related to coordination and speech, which are typical consequences of neurological damage. But from what I hear, those who have no idea of my condition do not really notice these limitations, which is a rather positive sign.”

Long-awaited return

Next, Nitsch revealed that he’d even returned to practicing the sport he loves. “In January and February of 2013, I went with my father for a month trip in the South Pacific, where I lectured onboard a luxurious cruise liner and started free diving again. It felt great to be back in the water,” he wrote. “In May I went back to Palau for free diving, and it made me realize once more that there is so much yet to explore in the deep blue.”

Pushing himself

In a November 2017 interview with UPROXX, Nitsch went into more detail about how he’d pushed himself after the accident and managed to defy all the odds in the end. “I thought, ‘[Diving] will always be part of me,’ even though [the doctors] said, ‘You should never, ever dive again,’” Nitsch explained, “I said, ‘Okay, see ya,’ and I did some diving again.”

Doing it for love

“My motivation before and after June 6, 2012, has not changed,” Nitsch told Adrex in 2016. “Ninety percent of my free diving had always been for fun and still is. The championships and records were a small part of the whole free diving experience only because I was intrigued to see how far I could push my body and mind.”

Finding his limits

Even though Nitsch’s body and mind have been pushed far beyond the capabilities of most people, he is still free diving. He now also works for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, trying to prevent pollution of the oceans that he loves so much. Yet his incredible story remains a warning to those who want to get involved in the sport — and it is sadly not a unique one.

Taking lives

People have died while in the pursuit of free diving titles, after all. And Natalia Molchanova — once considered the planet’s finest woman free diver — was never seen again after embarking upon — what was to her — a fairly routine descent. Although Molchanova’s body hasn’t ever been found, it’s been assumed that she passed away under the water.

Doubting the sport

Molchanova’s disappearance — shocking as it was — triggered various kinds of responses. After the news broke, Philip Gourevitch, a journalist with The New Yorker, wrote on Twitter, “Natalia Molchanova, Champion Free Diver, presumed dead… because free diving is a ‘sport’ like Russian roulette is.” Some people inevitably took issue with Gourevitch’s comment, though, and vigorously defended their sport.

The allure of the sport

In the wake of Molchanova’s passing, the BBC interviewed some of the world’s top freedivers about the allure of the sport. “Freedivers go to incredible depths, they do incredible distances underwater, [and] they hold their breath for seemingly inhuman amounts of time,” said Stephen Whelan, who manages a diving website. “But freediving is a very peaceful and relaxing sport.”

Staying calm

“If you watch free divers before they go under, it’s about deep breathing. It’s about getting into a calm mental state and staying calm throughout the dive,” Whelan continued. “And it’s a very introspective sport. The divers have to shut out the outside world. It’s a sport of two extremes: you go to extreme depths, but you also have to go deep into yourself to do it.”

An out-of-body experience

William Trubridge also spoke to the BBC. “When you stop breathing, you suspend the body’s natural metronome, which it uses to count out time,” he explained. “So, holding your breath is almost like suspending time itself. A free dive is like a journey outside of yourself and outside of time.” That can be as dangerous as it sounds, too.

Many accidents

Some never return from their journeys beneath the waves. “It is not common that these accidents happen,” the president of the International Association for the Development of Apnea, Kimmo Lahtinen, told the BBC. “When they do happen, they can happen to the most experienced divers, because these are the people who are pushing the limits. That’s what they do.”

A dangerous game

While free diving has many fans, it’s also clearly 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.

Fighting your natural instincts

Essentially, free diving involves fighting against your own body as you descend into the ocean. Whenever you go underwater, 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.

Takes its toll

According to free diving champion William Trubridge, the initial 30 feet take a big toll on the freediver. “This is where you use up to 15 percent of your energy,” he explained to Outside Online in 2012. But if you want to secure the title of champion, as Nitsch did, you have to push yourself even further.

Raising the bar

Some free divers are able to descend to below 150 feet, in fact — and this is where things become even more difficult. The human body has problems handling such large amounts of pressure, and you start to feel the bizarre effects of the high levels of nitrogen and carbon dioxide that your blood now contains. Then, upon reaching depths of around 300 feet, your heartbeat will have slowed to 50 percent of its typical speed, and your motor skills will begin to fail you.

Losing your motor skills

“Most of the blood in your arms and legs has flooded to your body’s core as the vessels in your extremities constrict,” Outside Online noted about this particular point of the free diving experience. “Vessels in your lungs swell to several times their normal size so they won’t be crushed by the incredible pressure.” Who, then, would voluntarily put themselves through something so painful?

Taking a chance

Well, quite a few people, as it turns out. It’s a competitive sport in which many individuals compete around the world. And then there’s the simple lure of the ocean and the serenity that comes with being underwater for any length of time. This is apparently still a big draw to the activity, even with all the risks attached...and we're not talking about the risks of free diving.

The mysteries of the deep

The fact is, the deeper you dive, the more unusual things you see. Loch Fyne, for example, is known for attracting divers, but one underwater explorer got more than they bargained for during a visit. According to Bored Panda, this person was swimming along a wall, descending deeper and deeper – and then they found something. At the bottom of the lake were a number of carefully arranged garden gnomes, just waiting to be discovered. How did they get there?

Put to the test

The gnomes are among the tamer things divers have seen in the ocean. Another man was in the ocean in search of crayfish when suddenly – smack! A huge impact to his side, so bad that his arm and ribs snapped. It was a tiger shark butting into him. As recounted by Ranker, the guy managed to scramble out of the water before anything more serious happened, but maybe the shark would have ignored him. After all, this guy thinks the creature was simply “testing him out.”

Stairway to Hell

One Redditor has posted a tale about his father, who went underwater exploring a submerged mining pit in Minnesota. As the dad was swimming around, he noticed what the internet user described as “a very, very ominous-looking stairway to nothing.” Sounds creepy, and naturally the Reddit user dubbed it the “Stairway to Hell.”

Water dragon

This one sounds like an old sailor’s tale, but make up your own mind about whether or not you believe it. On Reddit, someone described the time they were investigating an old ship filled with brass. Apparently, as this person approached the shiny alloy, an enormous eel with “ a head the same size as a horse's head, full of jagged teeth” slithered past. This person seems to believe that it was guarding the brass, like a dragon protecting gold.

Looking out for number one

As a couple were exploring the depths of the Great Blue Hole in Belize, a lemon shark snuck over to investigate. These things are pretty tame around humans, but you’d certainly get a fright if one swam up beside you. That’s what happened here, as told to Bored Panda, with one member of the couple freaking out – and betraying her partner. Instinctively, she pushed her loved one between herself and the shark. Thankfully, it swam away and they could laugh about it later. Still, though, it must have hurt to see where her loyalties really lay.

Close your eyes

This poor person got quite the shock during one of their dives, as they’ve explained online via Ranker. They wrote, “My buddy and I crested over this mound of rock and there were about 20 baby dolls with cinder blocks tied to their feet just floating there eerily in the water. A couple of them were those creepy things that have eyes that blink.”

An imaginary friend?

One Redditor took to the website to describe the time they were wading through a lake when they were young. They remember diving under the water, only to spot somebody beneath them. Apparently, someone was decked out in scuba equipment and watching the kid – but when the lifeguard went looking for this mysterious person, they were nowhere to be found.

Catch some rays

When this person was diving as a child, they ended up encountering a sea monster. Well, it was a huge stingray. That might not sound too scary, but think of it from the kid’s perspective. As the now-grown swimmer told Bored Panda, “I wasn’t in any danger, but having a massive creature appear so unexpectedly, so close up, was absolutely terrifying.”

Captured by kelp

When two divers went out to explore a kelp forest in Monterey Bay off California, they were lucky to both get out. According to Ranker, one of them got caught up in the seaweed, and they really couldn’t escape. And worse, their partner had disappeared. So, they struggled and struggled, until eventually the other person reappeared as if by magic. They freed the trapped diver and they both resurfaced – but just in time.

The fantastical octopus

A couple were once scuba diving in Egypt when they noticed a bizarre red creature, something one of them described on Reddit as the “strangest looking octopus I’ve ever seen.” The sighting made the couple giddy, and they took some photos before eventually deciding to resurface. Later, as they looked at the images they took, they saw no octopus. It turns out that they’d been photographing a rock. So, why had they imagined an octopus? Well, they’d both been suffering from nitrogen poisoning.

See you later, alligator

This person clearly thinks of themselves as something of an adventurer, but this particular experience still freaked them out. They had been out in Florida, swimming around and looking for manatees. They suddenly felt a little bump from below them – and it didn’t come from a manatee. All this person saw was the tail of an alligator. As they admitted on Reddit, “I’ve done shark dives in the Bahamas, run into bulls, tigers, the whole gambit, but that right there terrified me.”

Choked by a shark

This is as unusual a shark attack as you’re ever likely to hear, but no less scary for the victim. As per Ranker, this person was a part of a group dive to watch some sharks swim around, but there was no cage protecting them. At one stage, one of the fearsome beasts apparently got wrapped up in this person’s breathing apparatus. It almost ripped the gear away from the person, which could have been deadly. Rather than being eaten by a shark, this poor diver was nearly drowned by one. Luckily, the shark escaped from the equipment and the person was able to keep breathing.

Freezing waters

The ocean can be a weird place, and this proves it. A Reddit user recounted how one day a diver was exploring the waters around Vancouver Island in Canada when they noticed something that seemed out of place. It was a freezer, locked tightly with a chain. Fearing the worst, the diver and their companions resurfaced and called the police. Eventually, the object was retrieved. And what was inside when they opened it up? Ten creepy dolls.

Shiny shiny

This is a warning never to go diving with jewelry. One person recalled on Reddit the time their parents were swimming through the waters of Mexico. Their mom was wearing a golden necklace, which garnered some unwanted attention. A barracuda had rushed over to stare at the shiny jewelry, which surely gave her mother quite the fright.

The race is on

A person took to Reddit to tell a story about their dad, who once was out in the water to look at some mussels. He then felt a little nudge, which he presumed was a seal. It wasn’t. Instead, he was being butted by a great white shark. As this person tells it, their dad said to himself, “If it gets me, it gets me; I can’t out-swim it.” That was a calm way of dealing with the situation, and evidently it worked: after all, he lived to tell the tale.

Plucked from the sea

If you’re trying out diving for the first time, you want the experience to go well. Sadly, this person had a nightmare. Out of nowhere, they found themselves shooting towards the surface, without any control. As they described it on Ranker, it was as if they’d been “plucked from the water.” What had actually happened was that their weight belt had slipped off them. No real harm done, but it wouldn’t have been a surprise if they had never gone diving again.

The sea serpent

This person had a pretty harrowing diving experience, but it only became clear after they’d left the water. Bored Panda recounted how once back on dry land, they were walking around with a bag on their back. The thing was, though, that it seemed to be moving. They threw off their bag and checked it out. Inside was a squirming – and potentially deadly – sea snake. This person has absolutely no idea how it got there. Did it follow them out the water?

Ghostly sounds

Even experienced divers can get freaked out, as we see from this story on Bored Panda. This person was once employed to clean out a water reservoir, but as they were doing so their light died. In darkness now, things continued to get creepier. Suddenly, this person heard a banging noise, even though no other divers should have been there. Terrified, they resurfaced and couldn’t find anyone around. Spooky.

Protective mother

It’s definitely a bad idea to get in between a humpback whale and her calf, as this trio learned the hard way. As per Bored Panda, the group were swimming around when they noticed the baby, but realized too late that they’d ended up in the middle of the creature and its mother. The elder whale wasn’t happy and it charged. Luckily, the three divers managed to get away from the situation with their lives.

Nasty jellies

This guy had just gone for a wonderful dive, and he was feeling good. And then, it happened. As he put it plainly via Ranker, “A moon jelly got stuck in my swim trunks.” A nightmarish situation already, but he went on in more detail: “Its stingers were in contact with my upper thigh for nearly a minute. Probably less than that, it just felt like a long time. It was terrifying.”

Fighting it out

One person has posted a story on Ranker about the time they went spearfishing with their dad. The kid took a shot and managed to snag a gigantic amberjack, but then they got caught up in the line. You can guess what happened next: the fish freaked out and the kid got dragged along, taking a good old beating along the way. They were hurt pretty badly, but it could have been so much worse.

Blood running cold

When this person was swimming in the waters of Port Elizabeth in South Africa, they sensed something was off. As they put it on Reddit, “I just [started] getting this cold, cold, cold, cold feeling running through my body.” The source of this chilling sensation? A shark had come over for a look.

Snagged by a boat

This Reddit user tells a story about a guy called Carl, who was diving to collect clams. Everything was going well, until a speedboat powered over to the area where Carl was exploring. His breathing apparatus got sucked up by this new boat, which sharply pulled him up to the surface. He was lucky not to be really hurt, but he was apparently unperturbed. As the online storyteller tells us, “[Carl] survived, didn’t get the bends. Going out to do it again come September.”

Shark maelstrom

This diver one day had the grim task of recovering a body from the waters of the Bahamas. But if that wasn’t grim enough, things were about to get worse. As told to website Inside Hook, as they descended into the depths, this person realized that a whole shiver of sharks were swimming around near the bottom. There were apparently loads of the things going around in circles, but the diver somehow made it out again safely.

Grim prank

These two siblings were left traumatized when they went for a dive towards a sunken school bus in Washington County’s Sand Hollow Reservoir. According to Bored Panda, when they made their way towards the old vehicle, they discovered something awful: it contained what looked like a body. Horrified, the pair resurfaced and contacted the authorities, who eventually retrieved the suspiciously weighted and wrapped package from the depths. As it turned out, though, it was just bags of sugar wrapped in bin bags and shaped to look like a human – someone had played a sick prank.

A nasty bite

This person had a scary encounter with a barracuda, which had apparently snuck up on them. As per Ranker, the fish attacked and bit the diver, who struggled and thrashed and eventually made it to the surface. When they hopped on the boat, though, they realized that they were injured. A horrible, deep cut was on their chest. Turns out that barracudas can do some damage.

There’s always a bigger fish

This Reddit user tells the tale of when he and some others went diving around an old oil rig. They had their fun, and then got out and back onto the boat, where someone else was fishing. This other guy had caught a fish, but as he was reeling it in, a massive shark appeared out of nowhere and snapped at the catch. This was obviously a wake-up for the people that had been diving, as this shark had been so close while they were in the water.

An uninvited guest

Three divers were once underwater at nighttime to catch some prawns. Everything was great, with their environment beautifully lit by the bioluminescence. As recounted on Ranker, though, all of a sudden the trio noticed a fourth member had joined them. Some guy, totally alone and not remotely dressed appropriately for a nighttime dive, was floating among them. He smiled, gave them a wave, and left. None of the other three knew who this guy was, and it absolutely terrified them.

Abandoned by the ship

This Redditor recalled one of their earliest diving experiences, which wasn’t a good one. Conditions had been awful, and the internet user and their brother got separated from the rest of their group. They surfaced and found that their boat had also disappeared. They were alone. As it happens, the boat had been forced to move because of the harsh weather. It came back for them, but only after an hour. That must have the scariest hour of this pair’s lives.

A hellish embrace

This person revealed a story told to them by their father, who was once a diver. Posting on Reddit, they explained just why their dad gave it up. They wrote, “Basically a small boat sank about an hour from our hometown and he was sent down to the wreck to find the bodies if there were any. He quickly located the wreck and opened up the door and a corpse littered with tiny prawns came rushing towards him and essentially ‘hugged’ him. That was the day my dad decided to quit diving.”

Not so slow and steady

Anyone who’s seen Finding Nemo might have the wrong idea about sea turtles. The film depicts them as pretty cool and chill, but in this Redditor’s experience they have an aggressive streak. This person was diving once, when they caught the attention of one of the creatures. Rather than acting sedately around them, the turtle freaked out and attacked. It took a wrestle for the person to escape.

A cruel twist

This poor person must be scarred for life. As they explained on Reddit, their dad once took them for a dive down to a sunken school bus when they were 14. Things were going fine, right until the kid noticed a lady floating in the vehicle. Terrified, they shot back up to the surface. Along the way, they noticed their father giggling. It turns out that the body had just been a mannequin. It’s a pretty twisted joke for a father to play on his child, though.

Watery grave

When this Redditor and some pals went for a dive, they found some stuff at the bottom of the lake. Success, you might think. Except their haul was pretty creepy. One of the group pulled a bag to the surface. And when they opened it, they discovered it contained several urns, each one bearing the same name. They’d obviously found someone’s resting place.

Tastes funny

This person remembers diving deep, when they noticed a bad taste in the air they were breathing. As they put it on website BuzzFeed, “It had a weird metallic sugary taste to it.” They started to feel woozy, then, but they somehow managed to make it close to the surface before passing out. When they woke up, they were on a boat with ruptured eardrums. They’d never be able to dive ever again, but they were lucky to make it out of the water alive that day.

A bare foot

Yet again, the poster of this story on Bored Panda is speaking on behalf of their father. The tale this time goes that when this guy was a kid, he went diving around the Santa Cruz Pier in California. Here, he came across a shopping cart underwater. He swam to it, and there he found a human foot attached to the trolley by a chain. If true, that’s horrendous.

Living logs

One Redditor has posted a story about a dam in New Zealand, which was once subject to damage. Apparently, some people went to investigate the site, but what they found there beggared belief. Some debris had built up in the water, things as big as logs. Except they weren’t logs at all, but enormous, monstrous eels. These creatures, the storyteller claimed, had been prevented from making it to the ocean to mate, so they’d grown unnaturally large.

No-go zone

This Redditor told a harrowing story about a lake close to his house. This place is so dangerous, the person claimed, that countless people had lost their lives there. It gets worse, though, because the waters there are apparently so treacherous that divers refuse to enter nowadays. So, that means that the place is full of bodies, because nobody dares to retrieve them.

Trouble in paradise

This Redditor told a story that apparently happened to somebody else, so maybe we should take it with a pinch of salt? In any case, the tale goes that one day a guy was diving, when he stumbled across a skeleton in scuba equipment. The air tank on this person had been switched off. An investigation followed, which supposedly revealed that this person’s wife had killed him purposely by messing with the oxygen. How devilish.

Sheep’s skull

When this person dropped something in the water, they got a nasty shock. In their words on Bored Panda, “I dropped my goggles and was trying to reach down in the river and grab it but I pulled out a sheep skull by its sockets. Wasn’t as creepy in hindsight but ten-year-old me was scared.”

An agonizing wait

As a ship captain and diver, this individual speaks of the fear of watching people go under – and then return late. The wait, as you might expect, is horrendous. Speaking to Inside Hook, this person said, “There are days when I can’t believe that I’m getting paid to do this, and days where I can’t believe they don’t pay me more to do this. I still wouldn’t trade what I do for anything. Love the dive industry – even when it’s bad – this is still the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, and gut-punching place to live and work.”