Free Diving Competition Held in the Bahamas
Thomas Leebolt of Poway, California, has worked in the maritime industry for over 30 years. As a licensed ship’s captain and chief engineer, Thomas Leebolt has served on chartered vessels and personal yachts. When not occupied with professional endeavors, Thomas Leebolt enjoys free diving.
Free diving is an extreme sport that requires athletes to dive to great depths while holding their breath, without the help of scuba gear. With only the aid of a rope, athletes push their bodies to the limit in an effort to beat their own personal records for depth and time.
Each year, top free divers gather at Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island in the Bahamas for the Vertical Blue competition. Dean’s Blue Hole, a key attraction in the Bahamas, stretches to a staggering depth of 663 feet, twice as deep as any other underwater cave near the islands.
The Vertical Blue 2016 competition, which welcomed 35 divers from 20 countries, took place April 22-May 2. The event’s organizer, world champion William Trubridge, broke his 16th world record when he dove to a depth of 122 meters, holding his breath for four minutes and 24 seconds.