Stig Severinsen Claims Guinness World Record for Longest Open Water Swim

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Stig Severinsen during his record-breaking swim off La Paz, Mexico (Photo: Luke Inman)

Danish freediver and multiple world-record holder Stig Åvall Severinsen claimed the Guinness World Record for the 'longest distance swam underwater in one breath (in open water)', swimming a distance of 202m (662ft 8.7in) and breaking the existing world record by more than 25m.

Severinsen already holds the Guinness World Records for 'longest swim under ice - breath held (fins and diving suit)' at 152.4m (500ft) and 'longest swim under ice - breath held (no fins, no diving suit)' at 76.2m (250ft), both set in Greenland's Qordlortoq Lake in October 2013. He was also the first man to hold his breath underwater for more than 20 minutes, and held with world record of 22mins until 2016.

To add to his record-breaking credentials, Severinsen also previously held AIDA records for Dynamic Apnea (swimming horizontally while breath-holding) with and without fins, and the Constant Weight without fins depth record. His AIDA Dynamic Apnea record of 225m was longer than the recent open water swim, but was set in pool conditions as per AIDA regulations. The current pool record by a male freediver is currently a staggering 300m (984ft 3 in), achieved by Mateusz Malina (Poland) and Giorgos Panagiotakis (Greece) on the final day the AIDA 2016 Freediving World Pool Championships held in Turku, Finland.

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Still from Breathology's video as Severinsen reaches 202m (Image: Breathology/YouTube)

Severinsen set the record on 26 November in La Paz, Baja California. According to the Guinness World Records report, 'Stig undertook this record attempt to inspire children and to raise awareness to protecting [sic] the oceans and the wildlife that live there.' 

'I have long been looking for an opportunity to strike a blow for our planet and remind us how we should treat it,' said Severinsen. 'The place where the dive took place in Mexico belongs to one of the world’s most unique and beautiful coastal areas. Like many other places, it is threatened by plastic pollution and the human lifestyle in general.

'When the world was hit by Covid-19 almost a year ago, I was looking for a way to show that the pandemic was not an excuse to forget our priorities for nature, or put our ambitions on standby. On the contrary. That is why I have spent the time training and developing both myself and my message.'

Stig's record-breaking swim was recorded and presented on his Breathology YouTube channel.



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