Monday, February 2, 2009

Freediving under ice

Last friday four local freedivers went diving in the Maarsseveense plassen. There was only just about enough ice (~2cm). Because the ice was thin no-one had been on the ice so it was brilliantly clear is you can see in this short movie...
Because the ice was this translucent it was almost impossible to tell if you had ice or water above you, we had to feel to be sure! This also made that is was all to easy to get disorientated. When you one day try this (even 1 meter under the ice!) make 100% sure you have a good (float) line attached between you and your buddy, and hold that line in one hand to make sure you never loose it even if the knot gets untied!

Here you can see buddy Danny looking at some air bubbles under ice...
And me pushing my feet through the ice...
As you can see we did not hold the line in our hand in these videos. We were stupid! At least we did hold the line when we tried to cover  a distance of 15-20 meters under ice to another place without ice. It was a sunny day with almost no wind. All in all we stayed in the 3C  water little under an hour. There have been days in spring when I was colder when getting out of the water!  
Some more photo's can be found on Mark's site.


  1. Hi Eric,

    It was a very spectacular dive we did, It felt almost the same as after my first open see session freediving in Thailand,a bit off the world!) I guess we've learned some good lessons!! So if anyone wants to go freediving under us!!! and remember:
    1.Always use a securety rope between you and your buddy and hold/secure the rope also in your hand! If you lose your rope(your buddy!) while you're under the ice, really bad things can happen!!
    2.You can break ice untill 2-2,5 cm from underwater with your feet (not with your fists) or stabbing holes with your diving knife, Thicker than 2,5 cm ice is unbreakable!
    3.Under the ice you'll get easaly lost and disorientated, you'll miss the exit even being very close to it (1-2m!).

    Thanks for being my buddy Eric, It was also a big reminder of how important it is to trust and work with a good buddy system so you can feel and dive relaxed and safe!!


    P.s. I'm so glad that I've found your camera after losing it underwater!hahaha!

  2. Hey Eric, looks like you had a great time. Water looks great! How's your training going (my gliding is getting much better and technique is improving) i'll have to get another video on my blog soon.

    Take care mate and be safe.
    Chris Holmes

  3. Hi Chris,

    Training is going fine, thank you. I will write something about it during the next week or so. Still experimenting and slowly getting into the spririt of doing proper max attempts. I plan to attend a competition in Namur (Belgium) at the end of march so I'm currently training towards that.

    cheers, Eric