Czech free-diver breaks ice-swim world record

The new world record in under-ice swimming near Teplice
Czech free-diver David Vencl reacts after breaking the new world record in under-ice swimming in a lake at a former quarry in the village of Lahost near the city of Teplice, Czech Republic, February 23, 2021. REUTERS/David W Cerny

February 25, 2021

LAHOST, Czech Republic (Reuters) – Czech free-diver David Vencl swam nearly 81 metres (265.75 ft) beneath the ice on Tuesday, breaking the world record after braving the freezing water wearing only a swimsuit.

“This will do,” Vencl said after emerging from his minute-and-half swim in water measured at temperatures of 3 degrees Celsius and pumping his fist in celebration.

The 38-year-old changed the location for the record attempt to a former quarry in Lahost, 100 kilometres north-west of Prague, from a glacial lake in Austria due to COVID restrictions which made international travel difficult.

Vencl, who dropped into the water through one hole cut in the one-foot-thick ice before emerging from another, beat the previous record of 250 feet set by Denmark’s Stig Avall Severinsen in October, 2017 in southern Greenland.

(Reporting by David W. Cerny, Writing by Robert Muller, Editing by Michael Kahn and Ed Osmond)

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