A Swiss diver has broken the world record for holding his breath underwater – for 19 minutes and 21 seconds.
Freediver Peter Colat, 38, said the first 12 minutes without air were ‘no problem’ after plunging into a water tank at a holiday fair in St Gallen, Switzerland.
Mr Colat smashed the previous record held by Italian Nicola Putignano by 19 seconds.
Under the rules for so-called ‘static apnea’ laid down by the Guinness World Records, Mr Colat was allowed to breath pure oxygen for ten minutes before the feat yesterday.
He said afterwards: ‘The first 12 minutes were not a problem and I felt the first need to breathe very late, but because of this it was even stronger.’
Magician David Blaine set a world record in 2008 when he held his breath for 17 minutes and 4 seconds, breaking Mr Colat’s previous record of 16 minutes and 32 seconds on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show.
According to the British Freediving Association, participants must ‘enter a very relaxed state so as to minimise oxygen consumption.’