On a single breath of air, Stig Severinsen sets a new official Guinness World Record by swimming 250 feet (76.2m) below the ice in a frozen lake in East Greenland where nobody has ever been diving before!

Swimming a distance of 250 feet beneath the surface on a single breath is no simple feat. But throw in the fact that the swim is under three feet of ice cover, and the swimmer has no wetsuit–only a Speedo–and the feat becomes downright remarkable.

The previous record for a similar stunt, set by Stig March in 2010, was 236 feet.

Severinsen, in the video, talks about the extreme danger associated with a swim during which the athlete reaches a point where there’s no turning back–he has to reach the escape hole.

“At this point I’m so numb, I’m paralyzed in my whole body [and] the coldness doesn’t matter,” he says. “I’m way beyond that point. And I have to just keep working, keep working, keep working.

So remarkable that Stig Severinsen’s recent 1-minute, 26-second jaunt beneath an ice-covered lake in East Greenland, to an escape hole 250 feet away, has been recognized as a Guinness World Record. (Video is posted below.)

[youtube width=”600″ height=”440″ video_id=”b-Mr1RV3Qxc”]
The preparation, training and record dive was closely followed by film producers and scientists and will air on Discovery Channel late October 2013 in the series: “The Man Who Doesn’t Breathe”.

I have only to focus on working. Pushing my body to the maximum limit. If your mind gets stiff, like your body, then the whole thing can be a disaster. Because if my mind freaks out, you’re going to panic, and panic is what kills.

“I just sleep almost, in that emptiness and that freedom. I kind of do everything in slow motion.”

250 Feet Below

Said Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief at Guinness:

“Some of our record achievements are easy to attempt but not necessarily easy to beat, and some attempts–like these–are difficult to attempt and difficult to beat.

“For Stig, it has always been about pushing the limits of what a human body can do, and his record-breaking success is testament to his technique, attitude and physicality.”

The preparation, training, and record dive was monitored by a film crew and scientists for a feature titled, “The Man Who doesn’t Breathe,” to air later this month on the Discovery Channel.

It’s an apt title. Among Severinsen’s many other accomplishments was a world record, set last November, for the amount of time spent underwater on a single breath: an astonishing 22 minutes.

–For more information, and to view comments about the record swim, see the Breathology Facebook page

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Material copyright of Discovery Channel.
Produced by back2back and Ace & Ace
Associate Producer Stig Severinsen/Breatheology.