Free diver takes record breaking breath in Cayman

| 22/05/2012

steve-150x150.jpg(CNS): A new free diving record was set in the Cayman Islands by Steve Benson from the United States earlier this month when he held his breath for seven minutes, 43 seconds in the free-diving discipline of static apnea during an international competition. Static apnea challenges breath-hold divers to float face down in the water for as long as possible under the supervision of safety divers and official judges. A physician’s assistant at Eastern Urological Associates, Benson surpassed the static apnea record of 7:39, set by Hawaii’s Bill Graham in July 2009.

“My focus was relaxation and meditation,” said Benson, who spent the first four minutes of his breath-hold imagining himself in a “happy place.”

Soon after the four-minute mark, his diaphragm began to contract involuntarily in a desperate urge to breathe. Benson tried to suppress the contractions through mental focus he told the Daily “Staying in the moment and telling myself, ‘I can do this all day’ was key,” Benson said. “If I start thinking about how much time I have to go, I am sunk.”

After seven minutes underwater, Benson’s coach began to call out the time signals every 15 seconds. After surpassing the record by four seconds, Benson surfaced with some heavy breathing and quickly demonstrated that he had full control of his mind and body by completing a protocol that included telling the judges he was OK.

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