Free-diver Stig Severinsen (Denmark) has added another Guinness World Records title to his list of accolades- this time for the longest distance swam underwater with one breath using fins (open water, male).
The 47-year-old, four-time Freediving World Champion achieved the new record distance of 202 m (662 ft 8.7 in) in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico, on 26 November.
Stig’s effort surpassed the previous record by an impressive 25 meters, which was set by Carlos Coste (Venezuela) on the 9th September 2016.
The record-breaking dive took place in a beautiful coastal area which, like many others, is threatened by plastic pollution.
Stig hopes that through his latest achievement, he can remind people that we cannot neglect our duties to protect nature and that we should not let changes limit our dreams or actions.
"When the world was hit by Covid-19 almost a year ago, I was looking for a way to show that the pandemic was not an excuse to forget our priorities for nature, or put our ambitions on standby. On the contrary… My message is that the globe is an amazing place and that our body together with our brain can achieve the most incredible things. Rather than allowing ourselves to be paralyzed by fear, we must continue the human endeavours. But it must be done in harmony with nature - not against it." - Stig Severinsen
In order to achieve the record, Stig undertook an intense training regime consisting of both physical and meditative development.
Stig’s fascination with holding his breath under water for long periods of time began at a young age, when he started practising in his parents’ swimming pool.
He has been an avid swimmer since the age of six and has also previously competed in underwater sports at a national level- playing underwater rugby for Denmark and representing Spain playing underwater hockey during his studies in Barcelona.
It was his fascination with long breath holds that drew Stig to freediving, and in addition to his most recent record, he is also the current record holder for the longest distance swam under ice with the breath held, with fins and a diving suit (152.4 m/ 500 ft), and without fins and a diving suit (76.2 m /250 ft), both set back in 2013.
He previously held the record for the longest time breath held voluntarily (male), achieved back in 2012, when the freediver held his breath for 22 minutes.
However, the record has since been broken and now stands at 24 min 3.45 secs, set by Aleix Segura Vendrell (Spain) in 2016.
Aside from his Guinness World Records titles and various freediving accolades, Stig has a PHD in Medicine, is the founder of Breatheology, a platform that provides training to improve breathing techniques, and is the author of a book on the same subject.
It's safe to say he's extremely accomplished in his field, and this new record is a cherry on top of his already impressive list of achievements!