A 54 year old man from Croatia, Budimir Buda Sobat, set a world record for the longest time breadth held underwater. He spent 24 minutes and 33 seconds underwater without coming up for air – that’s longest than anyone else has ever lasted.
This massive feat was achieved in a swimming pool, in the town of Sisak, under the supervision of doctors, reporters and supporters.
He spent a few minutes hyperventilating on pure oxygen, to increase body oxygenation before spending close to half an hour face down in the pool without coming up for air.
A few years ago, Budimir gave up on his passion, bodybuilding, and embraced static diving, soon becoming one of the world’s top 10 static divers. He managed to break the 24-minute barrier three years ago, but this weekend he broke his own Guinness Record (24:11), by spending an insane 24 minutes and 33 seconds underwater.
This is known as static apnea, a discipline that requires that the respiratory tract be immersed, with the body either in the water or at the surface. The current world record before Budimir’s attempt sits at 11 minutes and 54 seconds, held by Branko Petrovic, in Dubai in 2014. However, that is the unaided version of the challenge, whereas Šobat’s is a different variation where divers are allowed to breathe pure oxygen for up to 30 minutes prior to the attempt, to increase body oxygenation.
Although the pure oxygen clearly makes a huge difference, as evidenced by the time difference between the two records, 24 minutes and a half is still an insanely long time to spend underwater without coming up for air. It requires years of preparation and training the body to pump oxygenated blood at a very slow rate through the body, as we as to retain oxygen for long periods of time.
Budimir Buda Šobat has always been inspired to push the limits of what is considered physically possible by his 20-year-old daughter, Saša, who has been battling cerebral palsy, autism and epilepsy since childhood.