With Discovery broadcasting a wingsuit jump off Mount Everest and a tightrope walk across the Chicago skyline, the Nat Geo Channel has announced that it too will showcase a live extreme stunt - taking viewers more than 350 feet into the ocean depths on a single precious breath of air.
"Free Dive Live With William Trubridge" will follow the 33-year-old as he attempts a record dive on a single breath of air in the world's deepest known blue hole in the Bahamas. Trubridge, the current free diving world champion, will descend to more than 350 feet - a depth greater than the height of the Statue of Liberty.
“For more than 125 years, National Geographic has been about celebrating explorers who push the boundaries of human limitations. This will be a thrilling feat, and no doubt we’ll all be holding our breath right along with William as he attempts this almost unimaginable challenge,” Nat Geo Channel president Harold Owens said in today’s announcement.
In 2011, Trubridge set the world free dive immersion record by diving (using a rope to guide him) to a depth of nearly 400 feet in 4 minutes and 13 seconds. To accomplish this next unassisted feat, he'll need to inhale enough air to inflate his lungs to the size of watermelons. The real danger, however, will be upon returning to the surface where he’ll actually begin swimming in reverse “to keep his lungs from expanding too rapidly and bursting.” It’s at this final stage that an average of nearly 100 free divers die every year, Nat Geo noted.
Check out a "60 Minutes" profile of Trubridge below.