Special Presentations

There will be a number of special presentations to fill in the time between training and competing. Presentations open to the public include a Scientific Panel of three researchers into diving medicine, a talk by Kim McCoy of Ocean Sensors, and a special screening of The Freediver.

Scientific Panel

Three distinguished researchers in diving medicine will be presenting talks at the 4th AIDA World Freediving Championships. These will be held on Friday, August 6th from 7:15 to 10:00pm at the Isabel MacInnes room at Gage Towers, UBC.

Admission is $10.00 Cnd for the general public and free for athletes, coaches and volunteers. A panel discussion will be held after talk the talks. Tickets available at the door.

Click here to purchase tickets to this event.

Dynamic cardiovascular responses during Breath-Hold

Andrew P. Blaber, Ph.D.
School of Kinesiology
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby B.C. Canada
Dr. Andrew Blaber
Photo by by Marianne Meadahl, SFU News

This talk will discuss the dynamic responses of the cardiovascular system during a breath-hold. These will include a discussion of blood volume shifts and circulatory adjustments associated with increasing hypoxia and hypocapnia. A live demonstration of some of these interactions will be presented through non-invasive measurements of arterial oxygen saturation, heart rate, blood pressure and cerebral blood flow. There will be time for hands on activities.

Some Issues in Breath-Hold Diving Physiology

John R. Fitz-Clarke, M.D., Ph.D.
Dalhousie University
Halifax, N.S. Canada
John R. Fitz-Clarke, M.D., Ph.D.

The physiological changes that occur during breath-hold diving are largely consequences of apnea, immersion, and compression. Responses are complex, and include circulatory adjustments, blood shifts, lung compression, cardiac arrhythmias, spleen contraction, altered gas exchange, hypoxia, and nitrogen effects. Since many of these phenomena are linked together, yet difficult to study invasively, we have developed a new computer model to simulate deep breath-hold diving. The model will be demonstrated, and responses and predictions will be discussed in light of recent scientific controversies.


Michael Lepawsky, BA, MD, CCFP(C), FPFC, DMO
University of British Columbia Medical School
Vancouver, British Columbia
Dr. Michael Lepawsky
Map of Tuamotu Archipelago

Paumotan pearl divers are internationally known to under water scientists, merchants or any who may have been impressed by the empirically derived breath hold diving techniques proven by trial and error since time pre dating recorded history. A nutritional necessity in archeo pelagic times, breath hold diving became gainful employment in economically challenged, emerging shoaled nations. In pursuing the oyster that is their prey, breath hold Tuamotu Archipelago pearl divers cannot break free of their evolutionary physiology and have been found to develop signs and symptoms of the most serious types of decompression illness (DCI). A universal Polynesian Island name for the most dreaded of the forms of the breath hold diving diseases is called by all the peoples of that realm “taravana”. This talk will describe classical breath hold diving habits, equipment, techniques and outcomes of those who pursue the precious gem that can be as exquisite an object of beauty as well as a brutal and vicious assassin.

Kim McCoy Talk

Kim McCoy is a physical oceanographer with extensive experience in scientific research, data acquisition, autonomous instrument system design, development. He is experienced in coastal, deepwater and Polar field operations.

This talk will be in the Isabel MacInnes room at Gage Towers, UBC, Saturday, August 7, 9:30 to 10:30pm. Admission to this event is $10.00, payable at the door or online via PayPal.


Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, USA. Oceanography University of Nice, Nice, France University of Kiel, Kiel, Germany. Physics

Diving Related Experience

  • Started freediving at age 11, certified SCUBA diver age 13, competition spearfishing, Over 30+ years diving related operations including: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Polar Oceans.
  • Experienced in the planning and logistics associated with world record freediving attempts
  • Independent certification (instrumented) of many international freediving world records
  • Developed procedures for world record attempts
  • Planned and executed deepest openwater freediving experiment (107m) EKG, blood shift, blood gases
  • Design of ‘No Limits’ diving sleds
  • Design, production, testing of manned submersible with midwater capability
  • C.E.O., Ocean Sensors, Inc. (which designs and manufactures oceanographic instrumentation)
  • Consultant to domestic and foreign academic, commercial and government institutions
  • Several patents related to autonomous instrumentation and other fields Has been to all seven continents (6 of them be sea)

The Freediver movie premiere

Stephen Whelan of DeeperBlue is bringing along a copy of The Freediver movie for a special viewing.

The movie will be showne in the Isabel MacInnes room at Gage Towers, UBC, Monday, August 9, 8:15 to 10:15pm. Admission to this event is $5.00, payable at the door or online via PayPal.