[Video] Man dives 52 metres into icy Swiss lake, breaking world record

[Video] Man dives 52 metres into icy Swiss lake, breaking world record

A free diver from Czechia has broken the Guinness World Record for the deepest unaided vertical dive under ice, after swimming 52 metres down into the water at a lake in Switzerland. Despite breaking the record, extreme athlete David Vencl was rushed to hospital after the attempt, and is now being monitored closely.

Deepest unaided free dive under ice attempted in Switzerland

At the event on March 12, Vencl attempted the deepest free dive ever swam by a human without scuba gear, wetsuit or aids of any kind under ice. To make it doubly hard, the Czech maverick chose Lake Sils in Canton Graubünden for his attempt, a lake high in the Swiss mountains.

This isn’t the first time Vencl has faced the icy water, having already broken the world record for the longest swim under a solid sheet of ice. The man swam 81 metres under the ice during his attempt in 2021.

Vencl dove 52 metres down through icy water

To prepare for his death-defying descent into the icy depths, Vencl was accompanied by an army of specialists, who helped him along by carving a hole through the 35-centimetre thick ice. Then, with only fins, a bathing cap, face protection, and likely his own nerves for company, he dove into the water.

After one minute and 52 seconds under the water, Vencl reappeared, having dove 52 metres down under the ice - the height of 16 adult African elephants standing on top of each other. Needless to say, he had smashed the world record.

Czech record breaker rushed to hospital in Switzerland

Unfortunately, after being hoisted out and treating himself to a glass of champagne while still wearing nothing but a cap and a speedo, the new record holder started to cough up blood. After this continued when he returned to the hotel, he was rushed to the hospital.

Doctors are now keeping Vencl under close observation, with 20 Minuten noting that the condition is likely to do with his lungs. While he did injure himself in the attempt, the 40-year-old Czech can proudly claim yet another world record.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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