NEWS FROM ATHENS: “THINGS DON’T LOOK BAD”
Official Press Release
“Extreme 800”- Herbert Nitsch
Recovering Well After World Record of 244m (800ft)
On the picturesque Island of Santorini, near Thirasia the world record attempt for the “Extreme 800” took place at 2:30pm. Herbert was accompanied by a support team of 5 safety divers, 2 medical specialists and an experienced underwater film crew, all with specific tasks to ensure Herbert´s safety and wellbeing. The warm up and preparation phase went according to plan and he felt very comfortable and clear minded during the initial stage of his final preparation as well as after moving and strapping into his sled.
Herbert Nitsch reached the planned world record depth of 244m (800ft) and reascended without any technical mishap. He did however feel physically unstable upon reaching the depth of 10 meters, which was the planned stop for him to exit the sled and start his decompression routine. According to the drills and safety procedures that had been thoroughly trained and rehearsed, his safety divers then assisted him back up to the surface.
Upon surfacing, he was aware and conscious, took his oxygen regulator as a standard part of his routine and went back down to complete his decompression schedule between 9 and 6 meters. It became apparent during this phase that he was feeling disoriented, although breathing perfectly on his oxygen regulator. As a safety measure, the surface team than requested the emergency plan to be set in motion: as soon as Herbert surfaced again, he was moved onto the safety speed boat and evacuated to the nearest harbor under supervision of a doctor and a medic. In the harbor, the ambulance which was on standby transported him right away to the airport of Santorini; from there, he was evacuated by air ambulance (plane) directly to the naval hospital in Athens.
He undertook an initial decompression chamber treatment within less than an hour after the beginning of the dive. Past this initial treatment, he was put under sedatives to spend the night under intravenous and constant monitoring. After awakening this morning, he was placed back into the chamber for further treatment. Due to the duration of such treatment, he will still be under decompression for a few hours this afternoon and no further comment or update will be provided today.
We would like to insist on the fact that this statement is true to the point. We have no reasons to diminish the gravity of what happened or the positive outcome we are informing you about. Herbert never experienced a massive heart attack as has been communicated by wrongly informed media. We feel it is our duty to communicate accurately on these events, in the interest of Herbert as much as for the sake of the whole freediving community and any diver considering similar feat.
We will publish further information tomorrow and look forward to sharing more positive news. Herbert, his family and his whole team here in Santorini extend their grateful thanks to the emergency team which was on standby in Santorini. Our outmost thanks go to Dr Kelidis, the Divers Alert Network and all of you caring for accurate information on Herbert’ wellbeing.
No man has ever achieved what Herbert Nitsch did throughout his career. No man could have done what he did yesterday and come back alive. Despite the unlucky outcome of this dive, Herbert is and remain the greatest freediver of all times.
For any questions regarding this press release, please write to email@example.com or call +43 676 9396858 (Austrian Mobile), + 306975941386 (Greek Mobile) – Sylvia Ritt (Manager of Herbert Nitsch). The photo accompanying this release can be used free of charge. For further photos and underwater pictures please contact Phil Simha on firstname.lastname@example.org or +30 6977036237 (Greek Mobile up to June 9) or +41 79 7863375.