Czech freediver and Chronotechna brand ambassador David Vencl wrote history again when he became the first person in the world to dive 52.1 meters under the ice in the frozen Swiss lake Sils without a wetsuit.
His extraordinary accomplishment was accompanied by a Chronotechna watch, a brand of which the 40-year-old diver has been the face for over a year. Specifically, it was a watch from the limited edition SeaQuest Dive Frozen Deep with the serial number 01/15, which the Czech-Swiss brand produced just for the occasion of Vencl's attempt at another world record. Both the watch and the freediver made the extreme dive successfully.
"I did something that no one has ever done before. I knew there were a lot of unexplored questions that could only be answered by trying it for real. That's why I'm so happy that I've managed to push the boundaries of human possibilities again. It was much more challenging than the usual dive to 50 meters in warm water, which is otherwise basically routine for me," says David Vencl.
But not everything went exactly as planned. Immediately after surfacing, the Czech freediver spat blood, which scared everyone watching. Although he felt fine, the supervising rescuers eventually took him to the hospital for precautionary reasons, where he spent one night for observation. Due to the extreme conditions below the surface, Vencl suffered a slight swelling of his lungs, an injury that is not entirely uncommon in scuba diving and should not leave serious consequences.
"Because it's elusive for ordinary people, they find it dangerous, but it should be emphasized that I came to it by improving inch by inch, so it wasn't as extreme for me as for others. But I admit that it was an extreme strain on my body, and it was something I don't want to try a second time. While with the last record I thought that I could try to swim a longer distance, here I don't feel the need to repeat it again," admitted Vencl.
The 40-year-old athlete from the Czech Republic scored a similar success two years ago when he broke the world record for swimming under ice without a wetsuit and in one breath 81 meters in a frozen lake in northern Bohemia. While he was "only" improving on his best performance up to that time, his second record is all that more exceptional because no one has ever attempted to dive under the ice without a wetsuit.
Vencl had been preparing for his extraordinary feat for several months, when he was also under the close supervision of doctors. He originally wanted to dive in Zell am See, Austria, but because of the unusually warm winter, he had to look for a lake at a higher altitude where the chances of sufficiently solid ice were higher. That he eventually found in the Swiss Alps, not far from the famous resort of St. Moritz, where he could dive at an altitude of 1,800 meters above sea level.