Legends of Freediving

An evening with Bob Croft

Born in New York, NY, in 1934, Bob’s diving experiences span over four generations. Bob retired from the US Navy after 22 years of service as a diver. During his stint in the Navy he was a research subject for Navy doctors and scientists and developed air packing techniques for breath-hold diving still in use today.

Bob has been a certified SCUBA instructor for both PADI and NAUI and an avid freediver since 1968. Bob was the first human to dive deeper than 200 feet, breaking the record of 198 feet set in 1913. He set a world record of 212 feet in 1967 and improved that to 217 feet in 1968. He set his third world record of 240 feet in 1969. All this during the glory days of well known freediver Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca as seen in the movie “The Big Blue”.

CBS documented Bob’s accomplishments in a 1968 video and he appeared on the January 5th cover of Life Magazine in the same year. He is a member of the Swimming Hall of Fame and is featured at the U.S. Navy Undersea Museum in Bremerton, Washington. Science Magazine did an article on Bob in 1968, and he has been on the Today Show, the David Frost Show and To Tell the Truth.

Bob remains keenly interested in all aspects of freediving and is one of the worlds foremost authorities. He is referenced in the US Diving Manual re; Blood Shift vs.. Thoracic Squeeze and in Tim Encott’s book Neutral Buoyancy, published in 2001. He is a regular guest speaker at diving related functions throughout the US and regularly lectures on the psychological and physiological aspects of breath-hold diving.

Robert A. Croft

Rate / Rank EN1 (SS/DV)
Service Branch USN
Service Dates April 1952 – Aug 1974
Born July 19th, 1934, New York, NY

Freediving Records of the Time

Name Depth Year Location Discipline
Enzo Maiorca 62m 1966 Italy NL
Robert Croft 64m 1967 USA VW
Enzo Maiorca 64m 1967 Cuba NL
Robert Croft 66m 1967 USA VW
Jacques Mayol 70m 1968 USA NL
Enzo Maiorca 72m 1969 Italy NL
Robert Croft 73m 1969 USA VW
Enzo Maiorca 74m 1970 Italy NL

Door Prizes:

The following companies donated door prizes to this event:

Fitness Group Sporasub Bonica Precision Cameras


The auditorium at the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park. Show up at Gate 5.


Saturday, June 28th 7:00pm – 8:30pm


Tickets $25, cafa members $20.

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Updated 14 June 2003 Home