Diving: Next stop...real deep

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Outside magazine, March 1995

Diving: Next stop...real deep
By Todd Balf (with Jim Kelly, Martin Dugard, and Alison Osius)

About to attempt a world-record 416-foot breath-hold dive off Key Largo last December, Francisco "Pipin" Ferreras assumed the lotus position on the edge of his dive boat and asked for silence. What was the man doing? "Concentrating on the unity of the motor system with the psyche," explained the Cuban-born Ferreras, 32, who attributes his phenomenal string of records in breath-hold diving to yoga, Buddhist meditation, and mind-body exercises (see "Homo Aquaticus and the Eight-Liter Lung," March 1994). The guy can also hold his breath for ten minutes. Wrapping himself around a weighted sled, the maskless Ferreras shimmied down a cable into darkness, drawing seawater through his nose and into his sinuses to equalize the 200 pounds per square inch of pressure on his face. After 70 seconds, he'd dropped to 417 feet, a foot deeper than he'd planned to go; a minute later he was back on the surface, accepting backslaps and queries. "What does this prove?" asked a journalist. "That we can go very deep," said the master. Next month, off Greece, he hopes to make another advance on his ultimate goal, a 500-foot dive.

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