Croatian Diver Holds Breath for Record Long… for Autistic Kids’ Sake

A PR campaign dubbed “I am not breathing” in Zagreb fair premises is something out of the ordinary indeed, since participants are not just caring about children with a serious psychological condition but set new sporting records just along the way.

On Saturday, Croatian free diver Budimir Šobat, father to an autistic girl, held his breath while staying under water for 24 minutes 11 seconds, state television channel HRT reported. 

That was the free-diving event called “static apnea,” or in other words motionless breath-hold: the challenge basically consists in intensely breathing in oxygen first and then submerging and staying in water in a hypoxic state for the maximum possible time.

Commenting on the record, Šobat said he could have held his breath for longer, but they had previously agreed on the timing with his coach and he had to interrupt the submergence.

“I am proud of all this. I have performed something unrivalled so far and have thus raised public awareness of autism and drawn broader attention to autistic kids,” the 52-year-old diver said, as reported by Vecernji list portal.

The previous record in the static apnea discipline was set in February 2016 by Aleix Segura from Spain, as he held his breath underwater for 24 minutes 3 seconds at the 17th Mediterranean Dive Show in Barcelona.

Last year, another two Serbian sportsmen, Lidija Lijić Vulić and Vitomir Maricic, set a Guinness Book record in tandem free diving as they went 123 meters deep under the ice crust.


Croatian Diver Holds Breath for Record Long… for Autistic Kids’ Sake

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