|Born||11 August 1974|
|Died||October 12, 2002 28) (aged|
|Occupation||Marine Biologist, Professional Freediver|
|Spouse(s)||Francisco Rodriguez aka. Francisco "Pipin" Ferreras 1999-2002|
Audrey Mestre (11 August 1974 - 12 October 2002) was a French world record-setting freediver.
Mestre was born in Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, to a family of snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts. She began swimming when she was still a baby and won a gold medal in a 25-meter swimming competition at only age two. She became a seasoned scuba diver by age thirteen but did not get full certification until her sixteenth birthday due to French law.She was still in her teens when her family moved to Mexico City and, fluent in the Spanish language, she eventually studied marine biology at a university in La Paz, Mexico.
In 1996 her interest in underwater sports led to her meeting free-diver Francisco "Pipín" Ferreras. They immediately developed a relationship and Mestre soon moved to Miami, Florida to live with Ferreras. There, she took up serious free-diving and with Ferreras as her instructor was soon reaching record depths. In 1999 the two diving aficionados married and the following year, off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Audrey Mestre broke the female world record by free diving to a depth of 125 meters (410 ft) on a single breath of air. A year later she broke her own record, by descending to 130 meters (427 ft).
In October 2002, Mestre died in an early attempt to break the 160 meters no-limits free-diving world record that Tanya Streeter had established a few weeks before on August 17, 2002 (at that time this was both men and women's official AIDA record).
On October 4, 2002, with a dive team under her husband's supervision, she made a practice dive off Bayahibe Beach in the Dominican Republic to a record depth of 166 metres (545 ft). After more deep dive practices, on October 12 she prepared to attempt a dive to 171 metres. On reaching 171 metres she opened the valve on the air tank to inflate the lift bag which would raise her rapidly to the surface but the cylinder had no air in it. A rescue diver arrived and inflated the lift bag with his air supply but the bag did not rise fast enough due to insufficient inflation, a strong current, and the riser rope being non-vertical. A dive that should have been no more than three minutes resulted in her remaining underwater for more than eight and a half minutes. By the time her husband put on scuba gear and dove down to bring her unconscious body to the surface it was too late and she was pronounced dead at a hospital on shore. The dive was controversial and heavily criticised as the setup did not match common freediving safety standards. Much of the diving community critique targeted her husband Ferreras who had hurried an underfunded organisation for this record attempt, previously planned for a later date, notably with too few safety divers, lacking proper rescue equipment, with no doctors at sea and shore. Ferreras was in charge of Mestre's lift bag air tank and did not allow any of the team to check that the tank had been charged. Mestre was not recovered to the surface until nine minutes into her dive, she had a pulse at the surface, but there were no medical doctors available to treat her and minutes were wasted with Ferreras attempting to resuscitate her in the water. An ESPN documentary film written and directed by Alison Ellwood in 2013 had live video footage of the incident and interviews with crew members and staff.
Audrey Mestre was cremated, her ashes scattered at sea. In 2002, she was inducted posthumously into the Women Divers Hall of Fame and in August 2004 a book that tells her story was written by her husband and published under the title The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession ( ISBN 0-06-056416-4).
In 2013, Mestre's life and career were chronicled in ESPN's No Limits as part of their Nine for IX series.
A scuba set is any breathing apparatus that is carried entirely by an underwater diver and provides the diver with breathing gas at the ambient pressure. Scuba is an anacronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. Although strictly speaking the scuba set is only the diving equipment which is required for providing breathing gas to the diver, general usage includes the harness by which it is carried, and those accessories which are integral parts of the harness and breathing apparatus assembly, such as a jacket or wing style buoyancy compensator and instruments mounted in a combined housing with the pressure gauge, and in the looser sense it has been used to refer to any diving equipment used by the scuba diver, though this would more commonly and accurately be termed scuba equipment or scuba gear. Scuba is overwhelmingly the most common underwater breathing system used by recreational divers and is also used in professional diving when it provides advantages, usually of mobility and range, over surface supplied diving systems, and is allowed by the relevant code of practice.
Freediving, free-diving, free diving, breath-hold diving, or skin diving is a form of underwater diving that relies on breath-holding until resurfacing rather than the use of breathing apparatus such as scuba gear.
Deep diving is underwater diving to a depth beyond the norm accepted by the associated community. In some cases this is a prescribed limit established by an authority, while in others it is associated with a level of certification or training, and it may vary depending on whether the diving is recreational, technical or commercial. Nitrogen narcosis becomes a hazard below 30 metres (98 ft) and hypoxic breathing gas is required below 60 metres (200 ft) to lessen the risk of oxygen toxicity.
A surface marker buoy, SMB, dive float or simply a blob is a buoy used by scuba divers, at the end of a line from the diver, intended to indicate the diver's position to people at the surface while the diver is underwater. Two kinds are used; one (SMB) is towed for the whole dive, and indicates the position of the dive group throughout the dive, and the other, a delayed surface marker buoy, DSMB or decompression buoy, is deployed towards the end of the dive as a signal to the surface that the divers have started to ascend, and where they are going to surface. Both types can also function as a depth reference for controlling speed of ascent and accurately maintaining depth at decompression stops. Surface marker buoys are also used by freedivers in open water, to indicate the approximate position of the diver when submerged. They may also be used to support a catch bag or fish stringer by underwater hunters and collectors. A DSMB is considered by recreational scuba divers and service providers to be a highly important item of safety equipment, yet its use is not part of the entry level recreational diver training for all training agencies, and there are significant hazards associated with incompetent use.
Scuba diving is a mode of underwater diving where the diver uses an apparatus which is completely independent of surface supply to breathe underwater. The name "scuba", an acronym of "Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus", was first used by Christian J. Lambertsen in a patent submitted in 1952. Scuba divers carry their own source of breathing gas, usually compressed air, allowing them greater independence and freedom of movement than surface-supplied divers, and longer underwater endurance than breath-hold divers. Although the use of compressed air is common, a mixture of air and oxygen called enriched air or nitrox has become popular due to its benefit of reduced nitrogen intake during long or repetitive dives. Breathing gas diluted with helium may be used to reduce nitrogen narcosis.
An escape set is a breathing set that allows its wearer to survive for a time in an environment without (sufficiently) breathable air.
Francisco Rodriguez, better known as Francisco 'Pipin' Ferreras is a Cuban free-diver known for his achievements in deep free diving and his relationship with his wife, Audrey Mestre.
Underwater ice hockey is a minor extreme sport that is a variant of ice hockey. It is played upside-down underneath frozen pools or ponds. Participants wear diving masks, fins and wetsuits and use the underside of the frozen surface as the playing area or rink for a floating puck. Competitors do not use any breathing apparatus, but instead surface for air every 30 seconds or so.
CMAS one-star scuba diver is the entry-level diving certification for recreational scuba diving issued by the Confédération Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS).
A pony bottle is a small diving cylinder which is fitted with an independent regulator, and carried by a scuba diver as an extension to the scuba set. In an emergency, such as depletion of the diver's main air supply, it can be used as an alternative air source or bailout bottle to allow a normal ascent in place of a controlled emergency swimming ascent. The key attribute of a pony bottle is that it provides a totally independent and redundant source of breathing gas for the diver. The name pony is due to the smaller size, often of only a few litres capacity.
In underwater diving, an alternative air source, or more generally alternative breathing gas source, is a secondary supply of air or other breathing gas for use by the diver in an emergency. Examples include an auxiliary demand valve, a pony bottle and bailout bottle.
Underwater search and recovery is the process of locating and recovering underwater objects, often by divers, but also by the use of submersibles, remotely operated vehicles and electronic equipment on surface vessels.
Guillaume Néry is a French free diver.
Bayahíbe is a town in the Dominican Republic, located about 10 miles (16 km) east of La Romana on the shore of the Caribbean Sea. Founded as a fishing village in 1874 by Juan Brito and his family, who came from Puerto Rico, the town is now a tourist destination.
Deborah Andollo Lopez, also known as Deborah Andollo, is a Cuban free-diving athlete who held several world records in different disciplines. In 1996, she set a free-diving record of about 357 feet. On the "AIDA website’s world record history in both constant weight and No-Limits. In 1996 she excelled in constant 61 metres (200 ft) and no-limits 110 metres (360 ft), and did 100 metres (330 ft) in variable weight last year in Italy. 100 metres (330 ft) in variable weight ... in Italy."
Diving equipment is equipment used by underwater divers to make diving activities possible, easier, safer and/or more comfortable. This may be equipment primarily intended for this purpose, or equipment intended for other purposes which is found to be suitable for diving use.
In underwater diving, ascending and descending is done using strict protocols to avoid problems caused by the changes in ambient pressure and the hazards of obstacles near the surface such as collision with vessels. Diver certification and accreditation organisations place importance on these protocols early in their diver training programmes.
The history of underwater diving starts with freediving as a widespread means of hunting and gathering, both for food and other valuable resources such as pearls and coral, By classical Greek and Roman times commercial applications such as sponge diving and marine salvage were established, Military diving also has a long history, going back at least as far as the Peloponnesian War, with recreational and sporting applications being a recent development. Technological development in ambient pressure diving started with stone weights (skandalopetra) for fast descent. In the 16th and 17th centuries diving bells became functionally useful when a renewable supply of air could be provided to the diver at depth, and progressed to surface supplied diving helmets—in effect miniature diving bells covering the diver's head and supplied with compressed air by manually operated pumps—which were improved by attaching a waterproof suit to the helmet and in the early 19th century became the standard diving dress.
Surface supplied diving skills are the skills and procedures required for the safe operation and use of surface-supplied diving equipment. Besides these skills, which may be categorised as standard operating procedures, emergency procedures and rescue procedures, there are the actual working skills required to do the job, and the procedures for safe operation of the work equipment other than diving equipment that may be needed.
The following index is provided as an overview of and topical guide to underwater divers: