Vitomir Maricic split image

Vitomir Maričić (Croatia) can't walk on water, but he can do the next best thing – walk under it.

After walking a total of 107 m (351 ft 0.5 in), he has broken the record for the longest underwater walk with one breath (male).

The previous record belonged to fellow Croatian freediver Boris Milosic, who walked 96 m (314 ft 11.5 in) in March 2020.

Vitomir's attempt took place on 17 September 2021, in the swimming pool of Thallassotherapia Opatija, a hospital for the rehabilitation of heart, lung and rheumatic diseases.

He wanted to do this in order to bring awareness to the research they are doing around freediving. According to Vitomir, it will not just "help shape the sport and its safety", but also benefit the field of medicine in general.

In order to achieve this record, one foot must always be in contact with the floor.

To ensure he didn't float upwards, Vitomir carried a weight in his arms throughout the attempt. He completed just over two lengths of the 50-metre pool, holding his breath for 3 minutes 6 seconds.

Vitomir Maricic performing the longest underwater walk

Unlike most of our record breakers, Vitomir didn’t feel the need to train much in the lead up to his attempt.

"As a professional freediver I don’t really need to prepare that much for any breath hold record," he said.

He believes he can "easily break" many other Guinness World Records titles, he just "requires the right setting".

What's more is, according to Vitomir, he could easily better this record too.

"I can do much more but this was a live event so I wanted to be careful and precise."

Vitomir certainly talks the talk, but he also backs it up by walking the walk (underwater).

Vitomir Maricic smiling

Vitomir entered his first freediving competition four years ago after being interested in the sport for a long time.

Impressively, just over a year after beginning his professional career, he achieved the Dynamic apnea with Bi-Fins world record at the 2019 Croatian CMAS National Pool Freediving Championship.

Dynamic apnea involves breath-holding while moving continuously. Bi-Fins, as the name suggests, are two separate, unconnected fins. Vitomir dove a total distance of 264.7 m (868 ft 5 in).

Further proving himself as one of the best freedivers in the world, last year Vitomir won a gold medal and two bronzes at the 2021 AIDA Freediving World Championship in Limassol, Cyprus.

Vitomir Maricic freediving

Vitomir relishes the fact that freediving pushes his body and mind to the limit.

It is classified as an extreme sport, due to the inherent risks involved with holding the breath for such long periods of time. Thus, athletes must always be in peak physical and mental condition.

"It can really tell me what kind of overall shape I’m in," Vitomir said.

He also enjoys being a pioneer of this relatively young sport, which he described as "a big and unexplored challenge."

"It is growing so fast it opens up new options for travelling, working and research."

Vitomir Maricic holding diving fins

Vitomir’s advice for any wannabe freedivers is to learn from a professional instructor.

"Getting into a freediving course is the best way to begin and explore in a safe environment. With some basic information and rules it is a very safe and relaxing sport actually."

So don't just go diving into your nearest lake straight after reading this article!

Vitomir Maricic diving with arms spread

Vitomir will be a part of all AIDA and CMAS World Championships in 2022, in addition to organizing and competing in many smaller events in between.

He is also full of ideas for future freediving record attempts.

"There is always something cooking in my mind. If the situation happens that a new record makes sense I will definitely try it. I have around 20-ish records I think I can easily take."

We're certainly holding our breath in anticipation for what Vitomir will do next!