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April 23, 2010


Robert King Successful with Deepest Freedive in North America.

Long Island, Bahamas.  United States Apnea Association (USAA) reports that Robert King set a new United States Men’s Freediving Record while holding his breath and swimming with his mono fin to a depth of 90 meters (293 feet).  His performance took place during the Vertical Blue Suunto Dive Off occurring in Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island in the Bahamas.  He has broken his own record of 87 meters (284 feet) that he set just two days ago. 

This area of competitive freediving is known as the discipline of Constant Weight (CWT). The two other self-powered disciplines are Free Immersion and Constant Weight No Fins.  Robert set a new US National Record in the Free Immersion discipline just five days ago while competing and he is the current US Record holder in Constant No Fins as well. 

Rob’s dive took two minutes and fifty-eight seconds with the depth equivalent to swimming the distance of a ninety-story building and back.  Most people can gain an idea of what this achievement is like by going outside and holding their breath while attempting to sprint three city blocks and back in less than three minutes.  Rob’s immediate response to receiving a white card validating his performance was, “This is cool!”

Rob later stated, “This dive was special:  90 meters is a depth I hadn't expected to achieve.  I'd like to dedicate it to my parents:  Joanne, who's been unwavering in her support (even though I suspect my diving makes her worry), and Fred, who was an avid free diver and spear fisherman and who would have loved to dive at Dean's Blue hole and to see the Vertical Blue competition.”

Vertical Blue is annual competition hosted by world record athlete William Trubridge.  William is also an athlete in this competition.  For updates checkout,

Dean’s Blue Hole is a natural wonder of the world.  It is the deepest blue hole in the world with the bottom lying over 200 meters (660 feet) deep.  This natural depth amphitheater is perfect for world-class freedives and technical diving.  William states, “There simply is no where else like this in the world.  You suit up on a beautiful white sand beach and it is only a twenty-meter (sixty-six feet) swim to the platform and you are in world-class diving depths.  There is just no where else that is this easy to gain access to that kind of conditions.” 

Dean’s Blue Hole is naturally sheltered from normal oceanic environmental conditions allowing access to good diving almost year round.  Blue holes are sinkholes that occur in the ocean. Often called blue holes because of the dark blue hue of the water characteristic of the deepest area of the hole.   Composed of limestone the hole is the result of what geologist call a cover collapse event.  This is where the roof of a cave collapses and leaves a hole to the surface.  Dean’s was created when sea levels were lower, likely during a previous ice age.  As sea level rose Dean’s was filled in by the sea.

Constant Weight (CWT) challenges the athlete to swim to depth and back with the use of fins or a mono fin under their own power while holding their breath.  The athlete is not allowed to contact the competition line other than to recover their tag at depth while turning.  Upon reaching the surface the athlete must perform a surface protocol within fifteen seconds of their return to the surface.  Constant Weight is one of the most respected and contested disciplines in freediving.

Free Immersion (FIM) 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.  The athlete recovers a bottom tag and returns it to the surface where they must complete a surface protocol for the judges.

Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) tests the freediver’s ability to swim to depth and return without the use of fins while holding their breath.  CNF is one of the most difficult disciplines in freediving.  Athletes use a modified breaststroke technique to propel themselves to depth and back. 

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



Images available upon request. 

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.