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The World’s Deepest Man with Herbert Nitsch

In 2012, whilst setting a new world record for plunging a staggering 252m without the aid of breathing apparatus, a devastating and life-changing error occurred for champion free-diver Herbert Nitsch, resulting in brain damage and a prognosis of being wheelchair-bound. But due to his incredible determination, intuition and remarkable self- discipline, not only did Herbert walk again, but he returned to free-diving.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How multi-world record holder Herbert Nitsch learned to free-dive.
  • How his extraordinarily disciplined lifestyle enables him to hold his breath for over nine minutes.
  • How a series of errors culminated in his fateful decompression sickness and subsequent brain damage.
  • How he fought his prognosis of being a ‘wheelchair-bound vegetable.’
  • Why he trusted his own ability to discharge himself from hospital and facilitate his own recovery.
  • Why he supports the endeavours of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

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Episode resources:

Herbert Nitsch: Back from the Abyss

Follow Herbert on Twitter and Facebook


  1. Kevin

    Just finished listening to the Herbert Nitsch episode, what a remarkable man, can’t begin to imagine his journey from that record breaking moment in time, total admiration for him.

  2. Victoria Author

    Thanks, Kevin. Really appreciate your comment and taking the time to listen in. Yes, he is truly remarkable. Super human, in fact. And a lovely, lovely soul. Loved talking with him.

  3. Chris

    I enjoyed listening to Herbert Nitsch yesterday very inspirational person.

  4. Victoria Author

    Thanks, Chris. Yes, he is hugely inspirational and someone really living the ‘off the ropes’ lifestyle. Thanks for you comment.

  5. Maurice

    Bizar story… apart from the freediving part, which most people wont understand anyway, I’m especially impressed by his spot on analysis on medication, doctors/”experts” and the recovery capabilities of the human body in general. If you put that in perspective to the situation of Herbert, in which he chooses his own way against almost everybodies opinion, while doubting his own judgement because of his undeniable brain damage at the time; you can call his recovery a miracle, but I like to see it as a skilled, determined, but at that time hopeless man listening and acting to the signs of his own body. Hats off to Herbert.

    1. Victoria Author

      Thanks, Maurice. Hats off, indeed!

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