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solo freediving

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.

primoz kosak

Well-Known Member
Jul 21, 2001
I wonder how much of you freedivers are diving alone, with no buddies, and when you diving alone, do you have any rules like limitation of depth or time spending on the bottom...
In my country (Slovenia-near Croatia, years ago Yugoslavia) only diving is scuba diving. I'm scuba diver too, but I'm tired to listen other divers wich level they get, all the stuff about new supersonic equipment they bought, all the great depths they reach and so on...
Now I freedive and i freedive alone. I freedive in Croatia. They really have wonderfull places for diving and freediving.
Sometimes my wife supervise my diving from the beach like sleeping queen!
Hot topic

Hi Primoz,
This a very hot topic.
In fact, when newcomer ask me about that, I don't recommend it, but that just an attitude to avoid feel guilty if something happen.
I'm a solo freediver, mainly when I'm doing UW photography.
I know this practice is potentially dangerous, but I enjoy the loneliness and felt more involved by the sea. Unless I freedive with my brother.
I think there is no rules that will keep me 100% safe, of course I limit my depths to maximum 30 meters and the time in a confortable zone. But I think no rule is full safe. As many things is a self decisition. I know the risk and I take it.
If someone ask me about it, I will tell him not to do it, and if that person ask me, if a make it, I have to say yes.
My conclusion is: Dont do it. But if you decide to make it, take the risk, remembering that it was your choice.
This topic is going to be controversial.

Yes Indeed it will be controversial. I am at the same point, I live in Greece and was looking forward to a summer of freediving galore. Unfortunately my buddy had to go the army and now I am stuck with no back up. I am desperately searching for a buddy and refuse to go without. A couple of years ago I had a samba incident and no buddy supervision, needless to say my life flashed before my eyes… By no means in my opinion should you go alone, find a friend and motivate them, there must be someone. It puts a hamper on the whole thing but this is a dangerous love as is, going alone only ups the risks. Another issue I wanted to bring up is buddy behavior, there is no point in having a sense of false safety. The buddy must be there for you at all times over your dive etc. I don’t wish to bring everyone a bad event to mind, but remember what happened to Terry Mass’s son….The buddy was only a few meters away.
Hi Primoz!

I'm glad you like Croatian coast. It is a great place :)!
As for freediving alone, I said to myself I would never dive alone again for training purposes. Recreational diving yes, but dives below 40m, never again...
Last year I did -44 totaly alone, but after the incident I had last year that kind of stunts are in the past.

P.S. When will you come to Brsec?
I got the same thinking like Frank, and I limit my dives to -25m and 2 min under water. Anyway, in Croatia, the the most beautifull dives are in area to -30m.
Today I'm 1 year on the forum, and I want to thank's all the people who run this wonderfull page, and to all freedivers for their help about our questions!

P.S. Hi Jero!
When all this kaos in the main streets will pass, then I'll see you in Brsec. In august I'll go in Pisak for about 14 days.
Diving alone?

Dear Primoz

I have been freediving for 33 Years now. I learned to dive in the beautiful croatian waters. In my ignorance I did personal bests diving alone! (for example -33 mt in Hvar in 1976).
As a competitor for Team Austria at WC 2 ('98) in Sardinia I observed people having BO's. There I got convicted that diving alone is very dangerous and should be avoided.

About the limits for freediving alone:
For competitions You should announce the same depth that You would reach diving alone (without a buddy). :duh In competitions there is maximum stress with maximum safety and if You are by Yourself there is no stress with no safety. :)

On a more serious note - please don't dive alone and if You can't find a buddy, quit diving or drag Your wife or Your sister or brother or even Your grandma out with You. It's still better to have someone on the surface waiting for You than being alone.
I need also someone for the sake of having company. Even if I would survive doing a personal best alone I would die afterwards If I had no one to rejoice with me after the dive :)
There seems to be a paradox: The more easy it becomes to communicate (technically), the harder it is to find a buddy for freediving. Is there anybody who is interested to go freediving with me for one weekend in croatia? If so, I am gladly waiting for Your mail
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Hello, Primoz, Greald (and others with same problems)

Looks we have the same problems. I'm also a scuba diver but more and more keen to freedive because of freedom and much simpler logistics and equipment. (and because of things that we all enjoy in). I also freedive mostly alone, sometimes my son is with me but I don't like that because when he hears about what can happen, about procedures andjavascript:smilie(':confused:')
confused so on, I can see he don't like that either. So, when freedive alone, I usually say to myself not to go deeper than 20m, but... It never stop there. It happened a few times to be alone and had not a nice moments (I think close to samba or maybe just too freightened). However, I'd like to get or to join to some guys who are freediving either in Slovenia or in Croatia. Maybe as information, as I'm close to small lake Bled, I like to go there and do some shallow water freediving, up to -6m, and enjoy very much with big sheatfish (up to 1.5m), carps (up to 60, 70cm) and some others like big pikes. Of course, see is much nicer, especialy in Croatia (Kamenjak, Cres,..)
So, if someone is willing to share some beautiful moments in freediving in that part of Slovenia or inCroatia, I'd be happy to join (and I think, my wife will also say - at least he is not diving alone)!


It was pretty recent, but I used to dive, and push it, while alone. I do not do that anymore. I still dive alone but for once a week, but I do not push it like I used to.
I will also admit that 99% of the diving I do is solo, and I like it that way. If I'm pushing past 40 metres, then I will make sure there's another diver with me, but otherwise I take my chances. I have done many 3 minute shallower freedives by myself, and I know that every time I get in the water there is the chance that I won't come back, but that's my choice. Usually my choice is influenced by the fact that I rarely have anyone who likes to freedive within 1000 to 10,000 miles!
The times where I have competed and trained with fellow performance oriented divers I have loved it though, so if there were a few people here that were interested, I would probably spend more time with some company.
Of course I don't advocate solo diving for others, but we are all capable of making choices.....you should come for a motorbike ride in downtown Jakarta someday if you think freediving is scary ;)
Erik Y.
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Diving alone?

Dear all
I am the last one to point a finger at someone who freedives alone. I wouldn't be surprised if those who criticize a solo-freediver would be exactly those who would find 1000 excuses why they wouldn't want to join You if You asked them for their company. With the progression of our sport, freediving-circles become more or less a closed society, at least here in Europe. I am definitely less than 10.000 km away from the nearest freediver, however it is just as impossible to find someone to freedive with. I have been freediving now for 33 Years and in the beginning I even did personal bests by myself - ignorantly. Then I participated at the first competition, that was in Sardinia in '98 where I saw the other side of the coin: (Sambas, BO's)
The next couple years were easy to find company, but as the structures started to crystallize, I saw the need to start all over again (i.e: finding people to go a little bit deeper with and still have fun at the same time. Is this possible? Or is the human nature already so degenerated? I am also asking myself :) )
Relatively compared: for every 10000 maximum-dives done in competition (theoretically) we may expect 800-1000 casualties but may be only ONE fatal case out of 10000 maximum-dives done alone. But can we even take a chance to risk death even in 1:10000? As I said before: In competition there is maximum safety with maximum stress whereas by yourself there is no stress but also no safety. In competition people become familiar with the elements and may unlearn to listen to their body signals.
Being by ourselves we behave differently: reputation doesn't matter, we are at awe of the elements and can discern the smallest, almost inconceivable body-signals.
In summary: I still recommend not to dive alone (unless it is impossible to find someone else, and in this case I suggest not to go past or even close to Your personal best.)
I wish You all safe and pleasant dives - hopefully with a nice buddy that You can share Your joy with!
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Reactions: Pekka

Thanks for the words. It's great to hear from someone who has been at the game for a long time and yes, good dive buddies are worth their weight in gold.
While on this subject please let me tell a short story. One day, with no warning, I blacked out at 70% of a personal best that had been set only 5 days earlier. There were two small signs that I wasn't at my best but, 70%!!
As I went nightdiving in Italy while my girlfriend waited at the shore witha lighter.. I flashed my lamp at her and she would signal me with lighter to tell that everything is ok on the beach.. She told that it was really scary! specially as I found something interesting at the bottom.. I barely went past 10M..
Later I told her how wonderful it was, but as she didn't see all the beauty underwater we couldnt share our joy of those dives.. It would have been so much rewarding to dive with her than it was to dive alone...
She was just scared while I hoped she could be in water with me...:waterwork
I feel that diving alone is a risk that sould be avoided, but when diving solo one should think of the other people who care about you... and might be afraid for you..:hmm
Like Frank, I too am a hypocrite (no offence meant Frank). I am the first to advise divers to not do any solo diving, yet most of my diving is done alone. Why? First of all, where I live there is a lack of freedivers who are my friends. Secondly, I tend to dive at least one kilometer from shore by the rocky outcrops (pardon my English terms). Thirdly, the water conditions are often too rough for my friends who do dive. Fourth, if I did have an accident, I seriously doubt that any of my friends could haul me back to shore.

Since I usually spearfish while diving, I am never close to a buddy when I do dive with others. If I were to suffer SWB the probability that I would be seen is extremely low. I have had many major cramps after a few hours in the water, but so far a lack of panic has kept me alive.

To those who do not solo freedive, my reasons probably sound crazy at best, lacking any logic. However, I do not, at any time, state that what I do is safe, merely that a buddy does not make my sport less risky.

Also, as far as scuba diving goes, I never do that alone (errr ... except for the few recovery jobs that i have had in confined spaces underwater).

Mitch Ventura
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