Herbert Nitsch is the current freediving world record holder and “the deepest man on earth”. This prestigious title was given to him when he then set the world record for freediving at an incredible depth of 214 meters (702 feet) in 2007 in the No Limit discipline.

On June 6th, 2012, Herbert surpassed his own record with a No Limit dive to 253.2 meters (830.8 feet), but suffered from decompression sickness.

Herbert can hold his breath for more than 9 minutes and has set 32 world records in all of the 8 recognized disciplines – unrivaled achievements in the freediving history. He holds an additional world record in the traditional Greek freediving discipline Skandalopetra.

Unlike other elite freedivers Herbert is self-taught. He is a pioneer in every way. He developed his own freediving techniques over the years, a methodology that largely differs from the traditional styles. He brought many novel ideas and innovations to the sport, that meanwhile have become common elements in the current freediving scene.  READ MORE..

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RED BULL DVD/BluRay/iTunes “Back from the Abyss”

15 April 2014: Red Bull released the touching and beautiful documentary “Back from the Abyss” on DVD or BluRay (German with English subtitles), and iTunes. It tells the story about Herbert’s 830ft/253m No Limit worldrecord dive in Santorini, followed by severe decompression sickness and months of recovery. Against all odds, and against all medical prognosis, Herbert regained his life back from being a wheelchair patient to freediving again.
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10 April 2014 Article by Laila Daneshmandi. Hundert Meter unter Wasser herrschen Extrembedingungen für den menschlichen Körper. Eine Taucherbrille würde einen solchen Unter- druck erzeugen, dass die Augäpfel in Gefahr wären. Die Lungenflügel werden durch den Druck fast faustgroß zusammengepresst. Der Österreicher Herbert Nitsch (43) und sein französischer Kollege Guillaume Néry (31) gehören zu den wenigen Menschen, die sich ohne technische Hilfsmittel in solche Tiefen wagen und weiter.Die Gefahren sind ihnen bewusst. Néry hat seine Passion fast aufgegeben, nachdem ein Tauchfreund gestorben ist. Nitsch sehnt sich trotz seines Unfalls (siehe Info) nach dem Tiefenrausch. Kurier 2014-04-10.pdf



30 April@21:15 & 1 May 2014@15h15: On June 6, 2012, the apnea diver Herbert Nitsch sought to improve his own record in freediving by another 100 feet - to 800 feet (244 meters). The training-dive off the Greek island of Santorini was to only be the beginning of his "1,000 feet" project. Despite painstaking preparation, on this early summer afternoon Nitsch experienced the worst-case scenario. Unconscious, he had to be brought to the surface by rescue divers - after reaching a depth of 830.8 feet (253.2 meters). For almost a year afterwards, there was no information whatsoever either about the accident or about Herbert Nitsch’s condition.This documentary accompanied him during his incredible recovery, removed from the public eye, and offers world exclusive on the

months of preparation leading up to and including the life-threatening accident in Santorini, the difficult rehabilitation in specialized clinics and finally, Herbert's way back into the stillness of the underwater world of the sea.

May 2014 The Italian Sea Shepherd group has mounted a campaign called Operation Siracusa. In an area known as the “Protected Marine Area of the Parco del Plemmirio”, off the Western coast of Syracuse, tuna, amberjacks, sharks as well as small and large whales are drawn to the area. The Italian campaign’s aim is to protect this wonderful ecosystem from widespread poaching activity.
Freedivers Enzo and Patricia Maiorca, Sea Shepherd Advisory Board Members, are the driving force behind this campaign. They will also be leading our team on the ground.  Many Sea Shepherd staff members and ship crew will participate in this first Italian campaign, including Sea Shepherd’s MY Bob Barker Captain Peter Hammarstedt, monofin great Mike Maric and Herbert.



May 2014 After a day of great fun and underwater filming with the  Italian Sea Shepherd group for Operation Siracusa and for its Divers for the Oceans project.

Participants included Captain Peter Hammerstedt, and freedivers Enzo and daughter Patricia Maiorca, Mike Maric, Gianluca Genoni.



22 May 2014 Article by Journalist Extraordinaire Romain Clergeat.
En février 2014, à Bora Bora, un an et demi après sa plongée catastrophique. Membre de l’ONG écolo Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, il s’attaque, pour rire, à un mets très apprécié en Chine, l’aileron de requin, pour dénoncer, très sérieusement, le massacre de 100 millions de squales chaque année. TRANSLATION In Feb 2014 in Bora Bora, 1 1/2 year after his grave diving accident, as member of the non profit organization Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Herbert bites for fun in one of the most appreciated delicacies in China: a shark fin. He does this to very seriously protest the massacre of 100 million sharks each year. Paris Match 3392.pdf

June 2014 Article by Editor Simone Mueller. Auf einen Atemzug mit den Tod

Herbert Nitsch wollte so tief tauchen wie kein Menscn zuvor – und das ohne techniscne Hilfsmittel. für diesen Rekordversuch hätte der Freitaucher fast seih lebeh gelasseh. Provocateur hat den Apnoetaucher zum Start-schuss seiher DVD „Zurück aus der Tiefe“ getroffen – eine Dokumentation, die seine Begegnung mit dem Tod umd die Zeit danach zeigt. Sind Sie ein Draufgänger? Ich ein Draufgänger? In der Szene bin ich eher der, der auf Nummer sicher geht, weil ich in der Apnoeszene für sehr viele Sicher- heitsvorschriften gesorgt habe. Ich bin vielleicht ein Draufgänger, weil ich gerne andere Wege beschreite als andere. Provocteur 2014-06.pdf


June 2014 Article by Journalist Stefan L’Hermite.

Herbert Nitsch est mort plusieurs fois. Le 6 juin 2012, dans le creux du volcan englouti de Santorin, il est descendu les pieds devant jusqu’à moins 253 mètres. Jamais personne n’a pénétré si loin dans le bleu profond avec le seul concours de son air, sans bouteille, scaphandre ou sous-marin. Herbert n’est pas remonté indemne. Syncope, quasi-noyade, hôpitaux, verdict incertain, hémiplégie. Read more..


June 2014 Article by Penthouse Chief Editor Heinz Lackner
Erinnert sich noch irgendjemand an Patrick „Bobby Ewing“ Duffy, der sich als letzter Über- lebender des sagenumwobenen Kontinents Atlantis in der TV-Stümperei „Der Mann aus dem Meer“ durch Wassertanks strampelte, die dem naiven Zuschauer als Ozean verkauft wurden? Einfach nur lachhaft. Vor allem, da der Mann im Meer wirklich existiert. Sein Name: Herbert Nitsch. Österreicher (also Binnenländler; welch bemerkenswerte Ironie ...), ehemali- ger Linienpilot und Weltrekordhalter im Ap- noe-Tauchen. Mit einem einzigen Atemzug (!) erreichte der Wiener am 6. Juni 2012 vor der griechischen Insel Santorin die unglaub- liche Tiefe von 253,2 Metern. Penthouse 2014-06.pdf

15 May 2014 The Melia, Vienna, Austria
Herbert will speak at a forum for Pulmonologists (lung specialists), organized by the pharmaceutical company Boehringer-Ingelheim. The topics of the evening, presented by various Professors, covered asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which includes chronic bronchitis). Herbert will present how he overcame his own asthma and chronic bronchitis through specific freedive-training, and what exercises he uses to train breath holding and to stretch his lungs and diaphragm. About 235 million people suffer worldwide from asthma and 64 million people from COPD.



11 June 2014 18:30 - 19:30, University of Queensland, St. Lucia Campus, Building 80, The Queensland Bioscience Presinct Auditorium. Open to divers, freedivers and other underwater afacianodos. Organized by UniDive Brisbane and Dr. Christiaan Roelfsema of the University of Queensland. Chris is an avid diver and also a research fellow and part of the biophysical remote sensing group who tracks through field work and sattelite data how the coral reefs are doing in Oceania.

Herbert will speak about his life as a freediver, training techniques, recovering from decompression sickness (DCS II), and how to have fun underwater. He’s also planning to do some diving in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Brisbane with several local freedivers.


14 June - 9 July 2014 Onboard a luxury cruise liner in the Pacific.
As part of Paul Gauguin Cruises’ distinguished guest series, Herbert will be onboard the MS Paul Gauguin to give various lectures to guests. Oceanographer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, Extreme artist Jean-Francois Detaille, Professor Carolyn Boyle-Turner, Soprano Francoise Krief, and Michelin-starred Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato will also be onboard to lecture and entertain.

Some freediving will be done in Fiji, the Vanuatu Islands, Solomon Islands, Australia, Komodo Island, and Bali. Read more..

Jean-Michel Cousteau & Herbert Nitsch in French Polynesia, February 2013


July 2014 Article by Frédéric Pelatan. Sa jambe droite lui joue encore des tours. Il doit anticiper chacun de ses pas pour ne pas tomber. Bientôt, il marchera comme avant, il le pense sincèrement. De sa voix grave, Herbert Nitsch tente de remonter le fil de sa mémoire. Il y a deux ans, dans la baie de Santorin, en Grèce, le détenteur du record du monde de descente en apnée (214 mètres, en juin 2007) a tutoyé la mort lorsd’une plongée en no limit, l’épreuve la plus spectaculaire, la plus fantasmatique et la plus dangereuse de la discipline : un accident de décompression survenu alors qu’il venait de défier les abysses en mer Égée. Détenteur de 31 records entre 2001 et 2010 dans les huit catégories techniques que recense l’Aida, et véritable patron des profondeurs, Herbert Nitsch caressait un projet fou : plonger à 800 pieds (244 mètres), puis à 900 puis à 1 000 ; et être le premier – probablement le dernier aussi – à s’enfoncer à 300 mètres sans bouteilles.   GQ 2014-07 .pdf


July/August 2014 Cover story in the fabulous action packed magazine X Life, published in Hong Kong for the Chinese-Asian market. Editor -Journalist Fred To’s marvelous layout makes you want to read it, even if you don’t understand Chinese. Xlife 2014-07.pdf


June 6, 2014 Arte TV documentary by Katharina Kestler
Why do these freedivers do it? What motivates them to dive on one breath into the deep blue? How is Herbert doing two years after his last world record (No Limit 253.3m/830.8ft, set on 6 June 2012) and subsequent decompression sickness and being wheelchair bound for months? How did Herbert heal himself back to health (clue: by doing what he always does - following his own path, and on this particular way, ignoring all what the Doctors told him and refusing to take “Western” medicine).

See more on the documentary on Arte Tv.


July 2014 Article by Verena Zimmermann. Es ist das wichtigste Grundbedürfnis des Menschen: das Atmen. Doch genau dies hat Herbert Nitsch sich quasi „abgewöhnt“. Der österreichische Taucher kann über neun Minuten lang die Luft anhalten.33 Weltrekorde im Freitauchen (auch Apnoe-Tauchen genannt) hat er schon aufgestellt. Dabei tauchen die Sportler mit nur einem Atemzug und ohne Pressluft-Flasche in die Tiefe. Herbert Nitsch wollte am 6. Juni 2012 einen weiteren Weltrekord aufstellen. Doch in jenem Frühsommer ist alles anders. Vor der griechischen Insel Santorin taucht der Österreicher wieder ohne Atemgerät ins Ägäische Meer. Er möchte dort seinen bisherigen Weltrekord von 214 Metern Tiefe überbieten. Aber der Versuch endet tragisch. Als er nach 4 Minuten und 32 Sekunden wieder an die Wasseroberfläche kommt, ist nichts mehr, wie es war. „Ich hätte den Weltrekordversuch absagen müssen“, sagt Herbert Nitsch heute.  2014-07 RehaTreff.pdf