Freediving is a form of underwater diving that relies on the diver’s ability to hold his/her breath until resurfacing rather than use scuba equipment or any other breathing apparatus.
Guérin-Boëri, 32, is a master of apnea — the ability to temporary cease one’s breath. The Frenchman is the first person to freedive 300m (984 feet); the equivalent to six lengths of a 50m Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Following his freedive record at the 9th Apnea Indoor World Championship in June 2016, Guérin-Boëri set his sights on another breathtaking feat (literally). Surrounded by freedivers, scuba divers, medical personnel, and countless other supporters, Guérin-Boëri calmly went through a routine of yoga, stretching, and breathing exercises before plunging into the icy waters of a Finnish lake that were approximately 1° C. He swam below the ice, only surfacing at the finish line nearly 600 feet later.
Alex Voyer, a photographer friend of Guérin-Boëri’s, catalogued the event.
“One hundred and seventy-five meters is a very huge distance that very few freedivers around the world can make — even in a swimming pool — and he did it under the ice,” Voyer said.