Czech free-diver David Vencl made history on Tuesday when he broke the world record for swimming under ice. Vencl swam nearly 81 meters (265.5 feet) under the ice of a glacial lake in Austria, which required him to hold his breath for two minutes and 42 seconds. The previous world record was 250 feet, which was set by Denmark's Stig Avail Severinsen in 2017 in southern Greenland.
"It was faster than I expected it," Venci old Reuters. "... I trained a lot. I was under the ice three times for 75 meters (about 246 feet) during my training."
Vencl said that he felt "great" after he emerged from the water, which was a quite cool 37 degrees. He added that the world record isn't officially his yet, though.
"We now have to wait eight to twelve weeks to get the confirmation," Vencl explained. "There's quite a lot of forms we need to confirm and fill out correctly … It looks like it is a world record but because he (a free-dive organization representative) couldn't see me swimming under the ice, he will have to check the video footage."
The 38-year old actually changed the location to a former quarry in Lahost, which is about 60 miles from Prague. The change was made as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, which made it difficult for Vencl and others to make it to the original site.