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Torrance Man Breaks A U.S. Freediving Record — Making It More Than 240 Feet Below The Water

A diver in a wet suit propels downward with his hands behind his back along a line in the water
A screenshot from a video of the competition shows Lance Davis on his record-breaking freedive.
(Courtesy Vertical Blue)
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The Summer Olympics have officially kicked off in Tokyo, but elsewhere in the world, a Torrance man broke an obscure — but significant — American athletic record.

With one enormous breath lasting 2 minutes and 42 seconds, Lance Lee Davis dove into a giant sinkhole in the Bahamas, and propelled himself down more than 242 feet (74 meters) using just his arms and legs.

Davis was taking part in an international free diving competition known as Vertical Blue. His specific category is constant weight, no fins. The current world record in the category is 102 meters and it's held by New Zealand's William Trubridge.

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While most divers prefer to train in the tropics, Davis' home waters are in the South Bay, where it's cold and dark.

“I think it makes for strength and adaptability because the conditions are a little bit rough and everything," said Davis.

To give you some perspective, the water temperature in the Bahamas is around 80 to 90 degrees. The water here in Southern California can fluctuate from 50 to 70 degrees.

Davis said that gives him an advantage when he competes in what he described as "paradise locations."

"I come here with usually like pretty good confidence and stamina from the time in SoCal." he said.

No matter where it takes place, deep diving can be dangerous. Nick Mevoli, the last diver to attempt this record, died trying to reach it in 2013.

Davis, a full-time diving and spearfishing instructor, said when he comes back to California, he’ll be back in the water once again to train for an even deeper dive.

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