Stig Severinsen sets world record double with pair of daring freedives beneath the ice

By Kevin Lynch

A superhuman display of freediving in an icy lake in Greenland has earned Danish daredevil Stig Åvall Severinsen a pair of new world records.

Not content with setting a new world record for ‘Longest breath hold swim under ice (fins and diving suit)’, the four-time World Champion freediver took things one step further by stripping to just a pair of swimming trunks and setting a new benchmark for Longest swim under ice - breath held.

The record attempts both took place in April on Qorlortoq Lake (Lake 40) in Ammasslik Island, Sermersoq Municipality, East Greenland at a temperature of just 1 degree.

For the first record, Stig managed to swim 152.4 m (500 ft) without the use of breathing equipment whilst wearing a wetsuit and fins.

Taking things up a notch, Stig decided to ditch the wetsuit and fins the following day, and managed to swim an incredible 76.2 m (250 ft) while under ice of a depth between between 80 and 100 cm.

Defying nature with his stunts, Stig has help contribute to a whole new world of scientific research by allowing scientists to test and evaluate what happens to his body under extreme physical and mental stress during his extreme swimming feats.

His phenomenal lung capacity can reach an impressive 14 litres - the average capacity is just 5 to 6 - which he attributes to a rigorous training routine he has developed called Breatheology

Speaking after confirmation of his records, Stig said ”Breaking limits is what moves us forward. If we never dare to get out of our comfort zone mankind will not grow!

“Working on these new Guinness World Records has been a huge challenge for me - both mentally and physically - but I hope people will be inspired to go out into the world and do great things that are meaningful to them.”

Commenting on Stig’s incredible achievements, Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief, Guinness World Records said: “Stig has more than proved himself worthy of a Guinness World Records certificate. Some of our record achievements are easy to attempt but not necessarily easy to beat, and some attempts – like these - are difficult to attempt AND difficult to beat.

“For Stig, it has always been about pushing the limits of what a human body can do, and his record-breaking success is testament to his technique, attitude and physicality.”

Stig’s ambitious world-record achievements are documented in a two-part series, The Man Who Doesn’t Breathe, which premieres on Discovery Channel in Denmark on October 20th, 22:00, and on Quest in the UK on 30 th October, 22:00. Click the player below to watch a trailer.