A record has been broken: 102 meters deep dive under the ice!
It’s a first, and the Under The Pole Team did it.
This is the story of their day, in images.
Try to picture it: you and your mate slide into a hole of 2m x 1m, get into -2 degrees water, get as deep as a 25 stories high building. It’s pitch black, you only have a couple of torches, and you can only come back to the surface through that tiny little hole.
Diving that deep in such an hostile environment requires not only top diving skills for the divers themselves, but a great collaboration as a Team. It took us approximately 4 dives, just to figure out the best way to manage something as simple as the life-line (the rope that is the divers’ only chance to ever come back up through the hole). Then the equipment needs to works seamlessly and be set-up on the divers in a way that they need it to be. With all the gear necessary, and the big blue gloves of a dry-suit, there is no way that an ice-diver can get equipped by him/herself. So we have to work as a Team, just like the formula 1 drivers trust the guys at the pit-stop. A bolt not screwed properly on the car will lead to an incident/accident. Same thing here.
The challenge is also in the fact that this is no recreational diving where you can park your car, walk 20m with tanks on the back, and jump in the water. Before and after the dive, there is a lot of pushing/pulling involved. The sledges are heavy. Kilometers of sea ice covered in snow to cross with all the equipment and safety devices + heaps of hot water to thaw all the frozen equipment. Far from the casual Sunday dive!
Ghislain and Martin did reach the 100 Meter mark, with 102 Meters. Since then, they did it again: 111 Meters. It’s not about pushing the limits for the sake of it, but it is about being able to replicate, to validate all the procedures and hard work that they’ve done to get there. And it’s working!
I’m proud to have been a part of this record, even at my modest level. Those guys are some of the most ultimate Frothers I know…
For more of my polar adventures on instagram: @franckgazzola