160FT BELOW THE FROZEN SEA; ONE MAN'S DARING ICE DIVE.
A DAREDEVIL diver - known as The Iceman - is attempting to break six world records, recreating scenes of cult film The Big Blue.
In the beautiful 1988 movie, the hero has an uncanny ability to slow his breathing and heart-rate so he can swim underwater for long periods.
Daros Gray, 32, will attempt to dive more than 160 feet - which is the same depth as the height of Glasgow's Finnieston Crane - in both the Arctic and the Antarctic.
The record-breaking freedive attempt will require Perthshire-born Gray to do some serious breath-holding.
The intrepid Scot, who was brought up in South Africa, admits that being underwater for more than six minutes is a life-threatening experience.
He explained: "This is a dangerous sport, very dangerous, and I have to hold my breath for a long time by most people's standards.
"But the real difference is that I am going to attempt to break the world records in the Arctic and Antarctic. This is the ultimate test of human endurance.
"It will not be easy. I once had to be resuscitated when my heart faltered after surfacing from a deep dive in Loch Etive.
"It's a tough one because we are attempting this in extremely hostile waters. The Arctic and the Antarctic are both extreme locations."
Other dangers the pipeline worker will face include hypothermia and blackouts caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. Gray has a lung capacity of 6.5 litres - more than twice that of an average person - and can hold his breath for more than six minutes.
The extraordinary feat will take place early next year with the help of a world renowned freediving team, including Jean Jacques Mayol, son of French freediving legend Jacques Mayol - the man who inspired The Big Blue.
DESCRIBING the feeling of diving to depths of more than 150ft without breathing equipment, Gray said: "You become at one with the sea, at one with nature, it's a wonderful experience."
Daros, who is also an expert spear- fisherman, has been training by diving in the chilly waters off Scotland and by doing a form of Yoga which will help his ability to hold his breath.
His personal best is six minutes and 27 seconds. The world record is nine minutes and one second.
Daros and his team plan to fly to the Lofoten Islands near Norway next year to start their attempt at the record.
DAROS WILL DIVE THE HEIGHT OF THE FINNIESTON CRANE
IN WATER TEMPERATURES OF -2C, DAROS WILL ATTEMPT THE FOLLOWING:
Descend to 160ft with mask, fins and weightbelt without touching depth cable.
Swim 300ft horizontally underwater.
Stay static underwater for five minutes.
Descend using a depth cable to a depth of 100ft.
COLD HOLE: Daros and the team cut out a point of entry in the thick ice; GOGGLE-EYED: Daros in action
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Jul 23, 2004|
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