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April 18, 2009


Leo Muraoka Sets New US Freediving National Record in Free Immersion.

The United States Apnea Association (USAA) is pleased to announce that Leo Muraoka, a USAA member, set a new national record in the freediving discipline of free immersion to a depth of 81 meters on April 11, 2009, at Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island in the Bahamas.  This performance surpasses the previous record of 80 meters set by Robert King at this year’s event. 

Two AIDA International judges from the United States judged Leo’s performance.  Grant Graves, USAA president, and Linden Wolbert, AIDA Judge, validated the performance as following all AIDA and USAA rules and regulations for a record performance.  Leo made the round trip in three minutes and twenty seconds. 

Leo, 53 years old, retook his own record after it was broken just days earlier by Rob.  When Leo hit the surface the crowd cheered him on as he recovered from his dive to provide his surface protocol. The performance was ruled as valid and awarded a white card by the judges.

Leo said, “I am very happy to be able to continue to improve my performances each year.  I enjoy this event very much.  It was though the support and encouragement of everyone here that I was able to be successful with this dive.  I would like to thank everyone.  Their cheers are what brought me through.”

Free immersion is the freediving discipline that requires the athlete to pull their way to depth and back using their hands to pull down and up the competition line.  It is one of three recognized self-powered disciplines in the diving to depth arena.  The other two are constant ballast and constant ballast without fins.  Both require the athlete to swim to depth and return under their own power. 

The USAA is a nonprofit association founded on the democratic representation of freediving within the United States and internationally.  Founded in 2003, the USAA consists of an active membership dedicated to furthering freediving in the United States and abroad. For more information about the USAA, the U.S. National Freediving Team, and membership please visit

The International Association for the Development of Freediving, AIDA, is the international sanctioning body for freediving, individual and team competition, and freediving world record attempts.  For more information about AIDA please visit


Freedivers are being filmed on location in the Bahamas by under water film production company BlueEyeFX. Based in Egypt and headed by British born Deborah Metcalfe, BlueEyeFX is documenting all attempts at Vertical Blue 2009 – the invitational freediving competition held at Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island, Bahamas.

Images and video footage of the world record attempt is available to download via FTP:
User ID: blueye
Password: B1u3y3fx
All credits BlueEyeFX Productions



Contact Information:

Grant W. Graves, President
United States Apnea Association, USAA

3642 Seahorn Dr.
Malibu, CA 90265
Phone: 310-560-6104

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Pictures provided by Rebecca Garrett, Deron Verbeck, Tec Clark and Jon Zeaman.