Czech freediver sets world record with 81-metre swim beneath ice

A Czech freediver has broken the ice swimming world record, covering 81 metres in freezing water, below a sheet of solid ice.

Wearing nothing but swimming trunks and goggles, David Vencl held his breath for two minutes and 42 seconds as he braved the icy lake at a former quarry in the village of Lahost. “It was faster than I expected it,” Vencl said of the swim after emerging from the icy water, which was recorded at a numbing temperature of 3C. Vencl changed the location for his record attempt on Tuesday to the quarry in Lahost, about 62 miles northwest of Prague, due to Covid-19 restrictions making it difficult for him and others to access a glacial lake in neighbouring Austria. Vencl beat the previous record of 76.2 metres set by Denmark’s Stig Avall Severinsen in 2017. “Dave set a world record in the Pure Apnea association in under-ice swim without a wetsuit and in the most difficult conditions – i.e. without the cap and weights that freedivers are used to,” Extreme Sports portal Adrex wrote.