The ethos of free diving is simple. The challenge: to dive as deep as possible on just one breath. The drive: to explore the ocean in the purest way. The goal: to make it back to the surface in a coherent state. In ‘Deep Blue Dive’ we voyage into this deep and dangerous world with Trevor Hutton, a free diver from South Africa, and reveal the extraordinary physiological challenges which have to be overcome to succeed in this sport.
Trevor is a self-taught free diver operating on the periphery of the sport; southern Africa is not a chosen free-diving location for good reason. The coastline is hostile, the swell runs high and the deeper water is frequented by every dangerous species of shark imaginable, in particular the Great White.
He’s six feet tall, and he weighs 220 pounds. This is a heavy frame to supply with oxygen, but he’s well equipped. His lung capacity is 9 litres, and his average heart rate is 43 beats per minute. As soon as he hits the water, a set of strange physiological phenomena take over.
We see how nerve receptors in his face trigger a response in the heart — slowing it down by an incredible 50%. Simultaneously, blood vessels in the skin and outer reaches of his body constrict, while vessels closer to internal organs dilate in anticipation of the airless environment he’s plunging into.
The spleen shunts red blood cells into the bloodstream to prepare for a lack of oxygen, a reﬂex stored in the depths of our instinct, banked from eons earlier. As Trevor immerses himself, a litre of blood floods from the body’s periphery and into the chest. This ﬁlm will illustrate these startling changes using high-end CGI and will investigate the very latest scientific research into how the body adapts at extreme depths of up to 120 metres.
Trevor’s quest to break the All-Africa free-diving record forms the backdrop to the ﬁlm. To snatch the record, he needs to train in clean, warm water so he travels here to the calm waters off the Kwa-Zulu Natal coastline. But the ideal free-diving conditions here are clouded by the presence of aggressive Bull sharks. Trevor has to overcome his fear of these intimidating creatures and control his heart rate to dive efficiently. We then accompany him as he travels on to the World Cup in Greece to further his abilities, compete with the world’s top divers and gain experience.
The Mediterranean is the epicentre of the sport and his journey here is like a pilgrimage. But as he returns back to African waters, will this experience and rigorous training regime enable Trevor to reach his goal and claim the record?
For more details and full episode screening links, please contact:
Head of Rights Sales
+44 (0) 207 332 9716