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David Vencl breaks free-diving world record

LAKE SILS, Switzerland –

David Wenkle emerged from the depths of Lake Sils in Switzerland on Tuesday after a record-breaking dive of more than 50 meters below the ice without getting wet.

A 40-year-old Czech diver’s record vertical dive of 52.1 meters per person was set in the Guinness Book of Records when he swam the length of a frozen Czech lake in 2021.

Wenkle dived through a hole in the ice, then retrieved a sticker from 50 meters down to prove his feat, before re-emerging through the same hole. He spat out some blood, sat for a minute, then opened a bottle of champagne. A later hospital visit confirmed nothing serious.

The 1 to 4 degree Celsius drop from Switzerland took him 1 minute 54 seconds, his promoter Pavel Kalus said, which was slightly slower than expected.

“He was kind of enjoying himself, but he admits he was a little more nervous than usual and had some breathing problems,” he told Reuters.

“It’s not difficult for him to be in cold water… Lack of oxygen is normal for him. But this was completely different because it’s really hard to work with ear pressure in cold water,” he added.

“If you combine these three things: cold water, lack of oxygen and the problem of working with pressure, it’s something very special,” he added.

Reporting by Denis Balibus in Sils Lake, Switzerland Writing by Emma Farge Editing by Matthew Lewis

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