Day after arrival Patrick has started the training the two pieces sled is working fine
As usual Patrick takes 2 day to adapt his physiology to waterpressure, step by step he will increase the weight on the sled to finaly
reach the 2 m/s speed of descent
81meters. After the 2-days in water adaptation Patrick will now progressively enter the blue abyss.
100.6 meters. In 4 days Patrick has reached half of the targeted depth. To fully enjoy the ascent, he released the safety line at 30 meters and fined his way back to the surface.
121.5 meters! Patrick attached one of his special D9 to his ankle. His equalization technique allow him to drop fast without stressing his thoracic cage. 78.5 m to go.....
136.5 meters! Today was Eduard's birthday and Patrick wanted to dedicate this dive to him. Upon surfacing with a victory fist pointed high in the sky, Patrick first words were :'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' ... 63.5 m to go before target!
151.2 meters ! Patrick is an alien!!!!! The team does not understand, who would, how his organism can take such a tremendous progression without any side effects. Upon surfacing with his victory fist, Patrick did not even take a breath or two to recover and his first words to his freediving crew, composed by Isabelle and Eduard, were: "there is only one man who can do that... remember this day!" At this stage you probably wonder why such statement? Well look at the dive profile and here its explanation: After his final deep breath, as Patrick opened the break an unexpected wave caught him by surprise and one of his leg glidded out of its support, while the speed of descent was increasing, Patrick succeeded easily to reposition himself BUT he had lost crucial time to properly equalize his ears. At 28m he decided to stop the sled and take time to equalize ....and to everyone surprise ...he opened the break again and soon disappeared in the Blue..... Patrick has the mental of a boxer jumping into the ring, ready for battle! But this day was also a VERY interesting day for the freediving world. Several doctors were present that day on the boat with an echocardiography with Doppler bubble detector! This is the first time in history that such tests are made on a deep freediver to detect how many silent bubbles occure during and after a dive, in real training condition (at such a record depth). So far, deep divers are used to breathe pure oxygen to recover faster and/or to be on the safe side in terms of decompression accidents. Well, without going into details, let me tell you that after these measures, Patrick does not breathe O2 anymore after his dives! Of course, no conclusion can be taken as it would require measurements on a greater population of really deep divers submitted to the same stress etc. These tests were conducted by Dr Wael Elmallah, Cardiology Lecturer at Ain Shams University, and Dr Hossam M. Nasef, Managing Director of Deco International Company (Diving Emergency).
170,1m ! So let's summarize: In September 2004, Patrick spent only 8 days in Egypte - dove 5 times; In May 2005 he spent there 9 days - dove 4 times - and with no other inwater training at all (not even in swimming pool) he is now within 2 weeks and 8 dives at 170m! 29.9m to go... The training went perfect but to our surprise the dive computer fixed on Patrick's ankle blocked and refused to display any results of this dive. Luckily Patrick was wearing one on his wrist. Now we can only hope and pray that the only one left will support the following training dives.. The technical diver team is composed by Hisham Ayyad TDI, trimix instructor/extended range instructor trainer and Hassan abd Elaziz, TDI advanced trimix diver/extended range instructor. Of course Mr Alaa Eldin is more than ever part of the deep diver team, coordinates and supervises the logistics.
185.5m ! Patrick came out fresh with a victory fist and hugged his team as usual. After waiting for the final technical diver to come out, Patrick described how fresh his brain was down there -incredible for experts who would expect that he would suffer from severe narcosis. "I opened my eyes and everything was dark blue, untill now I could see the releasing hook - Patrick wears no mask, no lens, no goggles - but not this time so I simply reproduced the movement I'm doing on the surface, which consist of glidding my hand along the main frame... and found it". In total it took him 6 - 7 seconds instead of 4. "As expected, my gym preparation in Brussels prepared my nervous system to stay sharp even under such a pressure constraints". Hum... at this point, sorry Patrick but you might try to tell me anything you want, but according to me, like in the famous trilogy... YOU ARE THE ONE! The world is now forced to choose between the blue or the red pill ! 14.5m to go.. On board, Jessica from the Search & Rescue team asked Patrick how he felt to be the deepest freediver on earth, his reaction was clear: It leaves me cold! But you should visit the net ask that to all the so called experts and physiologist wanna be who insulted me and criticised me during this past year. They all came with their own theory reproducing once again history by saying such a progression was impossible. 99% of the world was wrong, that is MY victory! My trachea and my lungs are still intact and not injured like they all claimed it would. For them, my training concept is new, not to me, nor to my dear beloved. In the past no one has ever asked me how deep I could go in the other categories and why I didn't go deeper, they all sticked to the facts and figures. I am not doing that to prove that I am the deepest, but I am so delighted to show the world how the small kid from Kinshasa grew up far from the sea, came to their diving world like a boxing champion and stood up for his believes to finally succeed to challenge their experts and all their scientific theories. Maybe now they will understand that it is not necessary to come with pages of physiological datas to understand freediving. Just dive it! This morning Mr Amir F. Wasef, Suunto's Egyptian distributor was waiting for Patrick at the dive center. Patrick was pleased to see that the company reacted immediately to the temporarily issue occured during the last dive. Mr Amir gave him a back-up computer. This stock D9 worked perfectly and logged the dive. A new special computer will be sent to Hurghada from Europe as the next dive could be THE one - only Patrick knows the answer to this question! Patrick will take one extra day off to test the impact of the new camera housing on the speed of descent.
200.3m! Mark that date, the 26th of June 2005. In 10 dives Patrick has just written a new page in the history book of diving. Unbelievable! He came up as fresh as for a 100 meter dive. His victory fist pointed high in the sky upon surfacing. Not a single trace of fatigue. 3min 25 sec to mark history and he still has no problem to equalize at that depth and is still far from his limits apparently. He described his dive like a return ticket to paradise. The dive was followed live by the camera crew of the French TV France 3 - Thalassa
Today, my team and I have succeeded a historical dive, 200m. Together we have demonstrated to the whole world that there is no limit to the plasticity of the human body in terms of adaptation when submitted to extreme environment. The real barriers are in our minds, we are our worst enemies in terms of future accomplishments. We tend to reject ideas and concepts we do not understand. In fact, ignorance is human worst enemies. Ignorance leads to denial and fear and as demonstrated through the centuries, this fear of the unknown generates mental conflicts, which in term leads to physical ones and wars. Unfortunately, it is in our genes to react like that. However, history is full of people who stood up for what they believed was right, even if they had to sacrifice their life for it. I am convinced that these people did not expect the world to understand them at once, as I did not expect you would understand why I had to perform this dive. Only my very close relatives know that I was born for a purpose and a gift. I have developed this gift since the age of twelve, and as for the other sports I have practised, it also came out and expressed itself in my breath-holding activities.
I would like to dedicate the spirit of this Ultimate Dive to my roots, Africa. I hope that my story will one day reach a little boy or a little girl in need. Out there, there are thousands of casualties of our ignorance and selfishness. May my achievement and determination inspire them and give them the strength to stand up. May they also believe, that even deep in their misery… NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!
To the freediving community:
Three years ago, I decided to step out of the freediving scene because I realized that the attitude some people had, and the underground political games, were against everything I believed in and was not worth fighting for. Looked from a different angle, our approach of our
sport will finally destroy it. Out there, there are thousands of young divers waiting to receive the proper education in order to enjoy and discover the pleasure of diving without breathing apparatus. None of them care about our political fight concerning federations and competitions. Within ten years we have succeeded to have 4, almost 5 different governmental bodies all fighting in different directions.
One team has just accomplished what 99 %, of the world (scientist, divers, freedivers, experts.. ) conceived as impossible. As described in my website I have been working on this new equalization technique for more than a year. Experts and others have read my comment on it, but still none of them understood it and therefore considered this dive and progression as impossible and criticized it. Some had predicted that my trachea would collapse at 185m. Some statement as "I am afraid Patrick doesn't understand anything about freediving…" appeared on the net while other comment condamned my partners for supporting me.
This project was not based on any of our traditional concepts, a fight for a title on a list within "X", "Y" or "Z" federation. I focused on what matters the most to the public...and to me : human extraordinary ability to adapt to extreme environment and the scientific challenge. Like Bruce Lee, one of the most talented man in martial art used to say : "Belts are made to fix your pants, nothing more…" So are our titles. My door will always remain open for those of you who are ready to learn about different approaches and come to me with an open mind.
Athletes try to run faster, to jump higher, to fight better, and seek the necessary help to do so. I will not explain how many days and nights my family saw me studying anatomical maps for years, studying the human bodies, and through trials and errors, finally find THE solution.
My equalization technique allowed me to reach the depth, BUT it certainly did not allow me to come back from it uninjured. It is only a piece
of a complex program, which prepared my body and nervous system to support the dive and adapt to such a fast progression! If you ignore that fact, I am afraid, the freediving world will face other casualties in the near future. At those depths something very weird happens to
the human organism, keep that in mind.
I found peace down there and feel blessed for what I have been able to experience deep inside of me. I hope that one day someone will
have the pleasure to experience what I have lived down there. But he/she will for sure not have the pleasure to feel what I have felt, when like other pioneers, I challenged the world scepticism. ACCEPT NO LIMITS!
Now, I could not end this letter without thanking all the divers and non-divers who sent me their warm support during this past year. This Ultimate Dive is the result of 6 years of research, training, tears but also joy. So many people and partners helped me through the years. I made friends in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Martinique, Bonaire, United States, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, Belize, Mexico and Egypt. Back to Belgium it will take me a while before I can go through my list and send a personal letter to all of you who believed in me and participated, in the present and in the past, to the success of this dive. In advance, I apologize for those I will not be able to contact.
For ever in my heart.
209.6 meters ! After 3 min 28 s Patrick Patrick surfaced as usual and congratulated his crew. On board he received a warm welcome from the whole crew and the team of Thalassa. But 20 minutes later he started to feel really tired. For precaution, he was transported to the hospital. Dr Hossam Nassef diagnostic was: common reaction to severe dehydration. The symptoms do not correspond to any dive incident. In fact, without being aware of, due to a bacterial intestinal infection Patrick has lost 8.5 kg since his arrival in Egypt! Even if they don't believe it's necessary, and to play safe Dr Hossam decided to treat him as well in hyperbaric chamber.
Another diagnostic from Patrick's personal osteopath who arrived the same day was that, due to this severe infection and constraints Patrick situation could be compared to astronauts who after a long stay in altitude must be progressively readapted to our world. He examined Patrick and found the exact signs that would confirm his diagnose. Patrick is currently feeling a lot of fatigue and his obliged to drink a lot of special fluids to re-hydrate himself and go through osteopathic treatment.
No other dives will be planned as long as Patrick does not put on weight.
TV crews interviewed Patrick.
The official press conference was held in the splendid conference room of the Sunrise Garden resort honoured by the presence of the Governor Gen. Saad Abu Rida, the Minister of Tourism and many other Egyptian officials. It was an impressive gathering of press coming
from all over the world, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Russia, Poland, France, Belgium, Germany ..
The Governor of the Red Sea opened the ceremony. During the conference, Mr J. Clymer, Suunto European business manager presented
and explained on giant screen the dive profiles of the dive registered on the 30th of June. This presentation was followed by the videos of the 209.6m dive. After watching the videos of the organization, the French TV and finally the video of the camera fixed on the sled, Patrick and his team received a standing ovation. The visioning of the non-edited sled camera was breath taking, Patrick?s fall into the abyss seemed to last forever and it is hard to imagine that such a dive has been realized. Patrick has added a new dimension to breath-hold diving. Just make the maths and realize that Patrick could have been the world record holder for the next 39 years if he had follow the common
one-meter policy, which in general consist of beating your record by 1 meter every year.
The rest of the conference was dedicated to answer the numerous questions.
Patrick received a honouree plate in recognition of appreciation from the Red Sea Govern orate and will for ever be a special guest of Egypt.
Patrick did a sled simulation dive in front of the press and spectators. Upon surfacing from his short trip, Patrick joked: "You're lucky,
normally it takes much longer than this". This simulation dive was organized to allow VTM, the Flemish TV channel to have some footage in order to complete their documentary about the day of the Ultimate Dive. Their reportage will be broadcasted in Belgium the 18th of July.
The Belgian national TV, RTBF and Channel 2 interviewed Patrick.
The closing ceremony took place in the desert. This ceremony marked the end of The Ultimate Dive project. For sure, this tremendous
project has already marked history. Scientists have already asked Patrick to accept to go through different type of medical tests. The echocardiography measurements made during the training, the body reaction after the 209,6m dive, and Patrick's amount of data's
collected during his training represent a treasure of information for the scientific world. Dr Hossan Nassef already mentioned: With all
these data's, experts around the world will have to review their position about human physiology!
Patrick was interviewed by VTM, Polish TV, the Polish diving magazine Nurkowanie, Dive Mag Russia and Octopus Russia.
The Egyptian Satellite TV interviewed Patrick. A complete report with photos and videos will be posted on this webitse upon Patrick's return
to Belgium, which is planned on the 17th of July.