French free diver Arnaud Jerald broke the world record Tuesday for deepest dive with bi-fins, according to the BBC. The 26-year-old descended a staggering 393 feet in a matter of 3 minutes and 34 seconds during the yearly Vertical Blue competition in the Bahamas.
“It was an amazing dive,” said Jerald in the video shared by the BBC. “I cannot believe I made it. I put all my effort this winter for my training here to make it. But for sure at the end when you made it, it’s bigger than what I can imagine and I feel safe with the team here.”
This was not only the seventh time Jerald has broken a world record, but the second time in one week. He broke his own record from Day 1 of the Vertical Blue competition by adding another three feet on Day 7, according to Le Monde.
Jerald became a passionate diver when dyslexia impeded his academic pursuits at the age of 16, according to his website. He successfully graduated before diving into his passion and became the youngest free diver in history to reach 328 feet in 2017, according to The Indian Express.
“The sea helped me very much because to go to these depths, you need to be confident in yourself,” he told CNN in 2020. “You need to be really comfortable with what you do in the bottom because you cannot stop at the bottom.”
Jerald surpassed his own record by diving to 354 feet in 2019 and then broke that one by reaching 367 feet in 2020. He’s amassed a total of seven world records — as well as gold, silver, and bronze medals from national and world championships — but told the BBC he often struggles to relish these victories.
Those tides might finally have turned, as the indomitable Frenchman expressed that his latest dive wasn’t for the books — but one for himself.
“It was my seventh world record and now I think I really enjoy [it] because it was [not about the significance] of the world record, it was just enjoying my dive first and [afterwards] everything can come easily,” Jerald told the BBC.
“I was focused the day before and, for sure, now we can say after this dive what we can do, what I hope to do,” he added. “I just need to enjoy more and to continue my way, to train more.”