Herbert Nitsch, The Deepest Man On Earth

I’ve been scuba diving before and for me scuba diving is like running with an ankle chain. Free-diving is breath-hold diving. It’s any diving without compressed gas. So if you’re not diving on scuba and you’re underwater, you’re free-diving. Herbert is the world’s greatest free-diver ever, hands down. What’s really extraordinary about Herbert is he’s doing dives no one else has done before. So, every dive he’s done, it’s the first time a human being has done it. I love swimming and diving, interacting with marine life. You’re more than just a spectator and it’s just a world that opens up and I wouldn’t want to miss it. I think as a good free-diver, you have to be in tune with your body. Not many people comprehend what it means, really, listening to the body. Training is critical in free-diving for the same reason it’s critical for climbing to the top of Mt. Everest. I’ve heard that un-acclimated person taking the top of Mt. Everest would die within minutes. The same is true for a person taken off the street down to 200 feet or 400 feet or 800 feet, like Herbert dives to. To be able to reach those altitudes or dive to those depths, you have to train your body and mind. “Packing” is a technique where I go sip by sip, I compress extra air in my lungs, probably twice as much as normal. But this is not something that happened overnight. It’s something I’ve practiced. Most free-divers are a bit older because then you’re mentally stronger and this is the key factor of free-diving, that you stay very calm. Imagine the situation that you are there on the dive-rope, setting your record and you have all the eyes on you, the media, the judges, the safety divers, and you have to be in a mode like waking up on a lazy Sunday and turning back around in bed, because if you are not relaxed, really relaxed, you need so much more oxygen so you can dive at all. When I dive longer and deeper, the body takes more and more nitrogen in the blood system and when I go back up, there’s too much. You have to off-gas… it’s exchanging the excessive nitrogen with oxygen again. If you don’t do that, eventually you will get decompression sickness. Decompression sickness is serious, especially in free-diving, and it’s basically air bubbles going to places they shouldn’t go, which is basically the heart or the brain. And it tends to show itself as stroke-like symptoms. And this can be a very minor thing or it can be a few major things, which happened to me in the last no-limit dive. In the beginning, everything went as planned. The problem was upon going up again, I fell asleep and the safety divers found me there without any motion, at 26 meters below the surface and they thought I had blacked out because of lack of oxygen. Their initial thing was to unstrap me and bring me back up, even though I was trying to stop them they brought me to the surface, and like 15 minutes after the dive, I felt the onset of decompression sickness, getting limp in my right body half, the leg, the arm, getting a bit numb too. No movement. Then, yeah. I was wheelchair bound and my brain was gone. I could hardly speak and I didn’t know my best friend’s name and so on. The doctors, they tried to tell me, “Learn to cope with it.” In the beginning, I didn’t think so much about diving, even though I thought it will always be part of me, even though they said, “You should never ever dive again.” Then I said, “Okay, see ya,” and I did some diving again. It was fantastic, just to be in the element again. Seeing him in the water again, in a couple of days, he was back at depths that most people can’t reach in a lifetime. So, he’s obviously still got his…still got his A-game. It’s just outside the water, I still have some issues with balance, coordination, with articulation, but in the water is maybe a bit more my element than being on land. Being in the water, I felt like a kid again. Even though I didn’t compete again, I was back to where I was before, confirmed to myself I can do it and that was enough. Herbert’s just different because he’s pushed the limits further than anyone else has and showing that the human body is capable, if properly trained and if you’re strong enough mentally, to do these extraordinary things. Deep diving is just a mystical part of it, just exploring the underwater world to see what’s down there, what’s under the surface.

100 thoughts on “Herbert Nitsch, The Deepest Man On Earth”

  1. this kind of training make you sofer in a few years about ritmia on longs, they never talk about the negative things about doing this

  2. I snorkel regularly at a place with loads of international freedivers the with fancy gear and prep. A local fisherman with two bit of plywood on his feet went down waay deep. Legend!

  3. Why does it say he's the deepest man on Earth??? He's not the deepest man on Earth oh, there's a guy who went down 107 meters, nor is he the one who can hold his breath longest.

  4. He explains in this Interview what he meant by falling asleep. It is in German: https://www.just-wanderlust.com/en/interviews/herbert-nitsch-im-interview-apnoetauchen-rekord-schwerer-unfall-und-neue-ziele/

  5. It appears to be something more than usual DCS… They just don't admit it to keep the myth of super human, Mr. Herbert. The truth is out of there.

  6. Interesting vid as I too have had a brain injury and freedive/spearfish. Not to a fraction of this extent by any means – I must add. My neurologist is appalled by my diving so his must be raging. Lol

  7. Amazing! This video and production will surely invite and motivate more divers to push limits. I love this! Salute to you Herbert!

  8. Need like small safety tank with some air like even 3 mins like mini tank be able to make free diving safer and explore further or if something happens u would have air to save yourself

  9. Cool story. Sorry for your bad accident, but great that you returned to diving after demcompression sickness. Stay safe, dive on!

  10. Just to clear up a few things that this discovery channel-esque video tells you, it is INCREDIBLY hard to get the bends while freediving, and simply doesn’t happen to beginners or even advanced divers. Pros only.
    Herbert Nitsch goes far far deeper than regular divers, hence he needs to have safety stops on his comp and training dives.

    And though he’s an incredible dude, and one of my freediving heros, he’s also not seen as the best freediver in the world. Yes, he has gone waaaay deeper than anyone else just with the air in his lungs, but he does this in a discipline called “No Limits” which means he gets dragged up and down by a metal sled (like an elevator). He’s the best at this discipline but it’s outdated and discontinued because it’s more dangerous and far from “free”diving. The two recognised worlds best freedivers are Alexey Molchanov and William Trubridge. Maybe it’s just Alexey now. They propel themselves down and back up again only with their body (though get to only around 300-400ft).

    I don’t want to shit talk Nitsch, he is one of the greatest. I want to shit talk this misleading sensationalised “documentary”- all the same, I’m glad it’s been made.

  11. Most amazing to me is that they say he holds 33 world records in a sport that only has 8 disciplines! What sorcery is this!?

  12. Wow great video ???
    Check out some of my videos I created in Maldives on my channel
    It’s about marine life and entertainment

  13. а неироны от отсутствия кислорода у него не отмирают? наверное уже половины мозга нету… вроде там через 6 минут без дыхания у норм людей начинается необратимый процесс отмирания нервных клеток мозга.
    я часто слышал от людей что кто то там пропал при дайвинге, кого то течением унесло на дно и тд и тп, у меня есть PADI, и я так и не понял нахер это кому надо :))) в чем там прикол, кучу бабла сливаешь, постоянно промываешь маску от запотевания, ну морские огурцы, коралы, акулы может и тд и что дальше… скукатень, опасная для здоровья и жизни вот и всё…

  14. Since when making half assed suicide attempts is considered a sport? If so looney bins are filled with Olympic champions

  15. How do you know no one has ever done it?. What about poor free divers in South American and carribean villages and tribes? How about African divers in rural areas? Common Man

  16. I've always wanted to free dive but unfortunately I live pretty far away from the sea. But my current goal is to hold my breath for at least 10-15 minutes. I just broke my personal record and held my breath for 2 minutes and 10 secs, and it's getting easier and easier with every try.

  17. The key is to relex then you use less oxygen up and can hold your breath longer. He must be be fairly relaxed then. I think he should keep free diving but not set anymore records it's not worth it to die for it. And what does beer have to do with free diving pray tell?

  18. The glorious white male has climbed the highest mountains, explored the
    deepest oceans, he has reached space and touched the planets. The white
    male has made pretty well every meaningful invention and innovation.
    Only the white male has done all these things. The glorious white male –
    truly a gift to all mankind.

  19. The glorious white male has climbed the highest mountains, explored the
    deepest oceans, he has reached space and touched the planets. The white
    male has made pretty well every meaningful invention and innovation.
    Only the white male has done all these things. The glorious white male –
    truly a gift to all mankind.

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