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[News] Austrian FreeDiver hits 600 feet in No-Limits

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DeeperBlue.com Editorial
Apr 7, 2006
Austrian FreeDiver Herbet Nitch has become the first human to reach 600 feet (183m) in the FreeDiving No-Limits Discipline on 28th August.

Completing his dive in 3min 14sec off the waters of South Croatia, Herbert managed to completely explode ...

This is an news discussion thread for discussing the following DeeperBlue.net News item: Click here for original DeeperBlue.net News Item
Musimu did 200m without problems, but suffered severe decompression sickness after his 209.6m dive -- he lost all feeling in the lower half of his body, and felt as though he was 'disconnected' from his body. He went into the chamber afterwards.

Herbert has also done 200m+ in training without problems. However, Herbert (to my knowledge), does deco stops in apnea near the end of his no-limits dives, to avoid DCS.

I have also started doing apnea deco stops around 6m and it has helped me a lot.
NewsBot said:
Austrian FreeDiver Herbet Nitch has become the first human to reach 600 feet (183m) in the FreeDiving No-Limits Discipline on 28th August.
I don't like the phrasing of this statement. Although my hat is off to Herbert for his incredible achievement, he's not the first to reach 600 feet. As stated above, Patrick Musimu has been deeper, as has Sebastien Murat.

Herbert is the first to do it under AIDA rules though. I'm not looking to start the old AIDA vs non-AIDA, apples and oranges debate, there's a whole other thread on that. (Mis)statements like the one above devalue other people's efforts - surely they deserve recognition as much as the next person don't they?
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Holly cow, but how long is your dive in the 200m dive Eric, not counting the deco stop?
Its awesome, just to think in the dangers involved.
why they need deco., they doing freediving..really strange? they get pure 02 before dive?
SEDATE said:
why they need deco., they doing freediving..really strange? they get pure 02 before dive?

Not sure exactly what your asking but the physiology of diving under pressure is mostly the same. Be it free or scuba. Sorry if I misunderstood.

n2 bubbles will form in your body if you ascend too fast. when freediving you always ascend so fast that there is bubble formation. if you just freedive deep enough you will get dcs.

respect for herbert's dive and i's like to hear more about it, but as bennyb said he's not the first human to do so.

It would be interesting to run his profile through a dive planner like VPM-B, Decoplanner, etc. and see what comes back. Don't have one myself.
Herbert has put his head under water just after the ascent. The judges took a long time and decided the record is valid. Herber had to put his head back under water because of some safety lanes.
About the DCS it for sure is an issue in freediving, dives allready as shalow as 60 m could cause DCS on repetitive dives.

And diving deep on pure O2 would be suicide. Pure O2 gets toxic already at 6m under water. Although you wouldn't get DCS because there would be no nitrogen in your system.
I seem to recall reading an article on the dive profile of penguins. It claimed they modify their ascents to avoid DCS.

There was also this page about bent whales.
It has been shown you can get DCS from freediving to 20m if you do enough dives.

In my own experience (suffering freediving DCS 10 times), I have been able to find a direct correlation between ascent rate and DCS. It seems that for me, the most important factor is the ascent rate, not the depth or the time. Once I modified my ascent profile, I was able to 100% eliminate DCS which normally used to hit me after a similar profile. I was getting DCS from as little as 2 dives to 38m.

The rule I found was as follows:

Eric's Freediving DCS Hypothesis

(1/P) dP/dT > K

Or, in simpler terms, if you express your ascent rate as a function of depth,

Ascent rate A = A(Depth) = A(D)


A(D) < D/K0

The value for K0 I have determined is:
Aggressive K0 = 15 seconds
Moderate K0 = 20 seconds
Conservative K0 = 25 seconds

So, for the aggressive K0:
A(5m) <= 5m/15s = 0.33 m/s
A(10m) <= 10m/15s = 0.66 m/s
A(20m) <= 20m/15s = 1.33 m/s
A(30m) <= 30m/15s = 2.00 m/s

Using these limits for your ascent rate, you will see that getting from 10m to the surface takes a LONG time if you want to be sure to avoid DCS. I usually take 20 seconds to cover the 10m to the surface zone. This increases risk of SWB on a hypoxic dive, so I don't recommend following this table unless you have LOTS of air left after your dive. This rule is something I discovered with experimenting on my own body, so it does NOT necessarily apply to ANYONE except for me. Please USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.

To state the rule in a more intuitive manner: each time you half your pressure, you must spend about 20 seconds doing it. So, the time it takes to go from 2atm to 1atm must be about 20 seconds or more; the time it takes to go from 20atm to 10atm must be about 20 seconds or more. This rule almost certainly will FAIL at higher pressures, since I determined it empirically in the 0-50m range.
About people going deep and even deeper in training...

We have a lot of World Record "breakers" with results done in training, but those who really deliver when they have to are few.

...something to remember