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Vertical Blue has been called “the Wimbledon of freediving” by the New York Times. The elite event is held each year at Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island, Bahamas – the world’s deepest known underwater sinkhole at 663 feet. This year 24 freedivers from 13 countries took the plunge in three different disciplines: constant weight (CWT), free immersion (FIM) and constant no-fins (CNF).

Before dives, freedivers typically prepare with physical, mental and breath-holding exercises to slow their metabolism, heart rate, breath rate, and the level of carbon dioxide in their bloodstream. Despite these precautions, freedivers risk shallow- and deep-water blackouts. The Vertical Blue Medical and Safety Team is sponsored by Masimo.

Dr. Stig Severinsen, four-time freediving world champion and holder of the Guinness Book of World Records for an underwater breath hold (22 minutes), will monitor blood oxygenation, pulse rate and other parameters throughout the competition using a MightySat.

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