Category: Education

Safety Enhancement Projects

AIDA freedivers, I would like to update you on AIDA’s activities following the fatal accident of diver Nicholas Mevoli at last November’s Vertical Blue competition.  This was the first fatality at an AIDA competition since our founding over 20 years ago, and we are working hard to learn all we can to prevent serious accidents in the future.

As you may know, AIDA asked a team of medical experts to review the evidence relating to the accident, to identify factors that contributed to the accident, and to make suggestions as to how to mitigate such factors in the future.  This team completed their review of the evidence in January (other than autopsy reports, which had not yet arrived), and reported their findings to the AIDA Board; AIDA Board then delivered those findings to the AIDA Assembly on 31th of January.  Once the autopsy reports are received, the medical experts will review them and update their findings.

The AIDA Board has also commenced a multi-part safety enhancement program to make changes based on what we have learned from the accident.  The first part of this project will address changes to the AIDA Competition Rules and safety guidelines.  The second part will address changes to the AIDA education system, to help students better understand the dangers from squeezes, and from “goal oriented” freediving.  The third part will be the implementation of a web-based Incident Reporting System, which will allow AIDA to monitor major and minor accidents, and work proactively to prevent address patterns of problems.  A fourth part will be medical research into squeezes and freediving funded by AIDA, and by Professor Erika Schagatay (an expert in this area).

I will report back to you this spring on our progress on this important program.  I hope to have key parts in place by the time diving season starts in the Northern hemisphere summer.

Kimmo Lahtinen
President, AIDA International

 

Technical Officer Antero Joki to Lead Accident Review

As many of you know, United States freediver Nicholas Mevoli passed away yesterday after a competition dive at the Vertical Blue Competition at Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas.  On behalf of AIDA International, I would like to send my deepest regrets to Nick’s family and friends.  Nick was a Silver Medalist at this year’s Depth World Championship, and a man who brought warmth and humor to the freediving world.

Safety is the highest objective to AIDA in both freediving education and competition, and this tragic accident is the first fatality in over 20 years of AIDA competitions.  Accordingly, I have asked AIDA Technical Officer Antero Joki to lead a review of the accident, in order to learn what we can do to prevent further serious injuries.  Working with Antero on this effort will be AIDA Medical Officer Rik Rösken, diving medical researcher Erika Shagatay, and elite freediver and physician Johan Dahlström.

I have asked Antero to complete his review and report his findings to the Board in early 2014.  I plan to communicate the results of this review to the AIDA Assembly and freediving community by February, before the start of the Northern hemisphere’s summer diving season.  Please join me in giving your full support to Antero and his team on this critical project.

Kimmo Lahtinen
President, AIDA International

 

Board Notes August

The Aida International Board held a meeting via Skype call in August 11, 2013.

The first discussion was about the media plan for the Depth World Championships in Kalamata, Greece, September 15- 22.  Aida International will have a web channel dedicated to posting all pertinent information with announcements, start times, and results. We will include daily athlete interviews, photos, and videos. We will also be tweeting ” live” with unofficial results as the dives are completed. As with all competitions; the results are pending bottom plate confirmation and any protests but we want to get immediate information out to everyone, as soon as the official results are available.

In regards to Kalamata; Grant Graves will be the competition jury president with Jean-Pol Francois as V.P. We also plan to have a general meeting to discuss a very limited number of important topics including the Judge IOP document renewal, the competition rules update, Aida world championships competition concept and Aida world record attempts. All athletes are encouraged to attend and participate in the discussion.

The Board voted to approve Alex Boulting as an Instructor Trainer. Alex is based in the UAE and brings much needed expertise to this region.

The Board discussed the possibility of Argentina and Chile becoming Observer members. The Assembly will be asked to vote on approving these  two groups to join Aida International in near future (as soon all the official documentation are completed).

Rik Rosken, medical officer, contributed information on several projects he has been working on, including the safe freediving guidelines and guidelines regarding WADA and doping standards. Rik is also proposing to start a foundation for funding research on specific freediving medical issues. This would be a long-term project and is in the beginning planning stages.

The Board decided to approve the deadline of September 30 for proposals for the Team Worlds 2014. Any interested organizers should get their proposals in to Sport officer, Ute Gessman. The Board also voted to continue the moratorium on No-Limits dives. Sufficient progress has not been made to improve safety standards, at this point in time.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Kalamata and hearing your input at the general meeting. Please do not hesitate to contact the Aida Board at any time with any questions or concerns. We want to hear from you !

AIDA Board

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New World Records Verified

We are pleased to announced that the world records which were achieved at the World Championships are now official. The doping tests results are negative for any banned substances. Goran Colak bettered his own record to 281 meters in dynamic apnea for the men and Natalia Molchanova accomplished a record in all three disciplines for the women with 9:02 in static apnea, 182 meters in dynamic no-fins, and 234 meters in dynamic apnea.

Congratulations to both of these amazing athletes!

 

AIDA International Board

 

AIDA – Suunto Awards 2012

The results are in from an unprecedented number of votes in the 2012 awards. This year the winners were determined by an open vote on Facebook.  Some categories were very close with just a few votes separating first and second places. There were ten categories. All finalists will receive a beautiful certificate and the winner of each category will receive a generous prize provided by Suunto.

Best Male Freediver
WILLIAM TRUBRIDGE

Best Female Freediver
ILARIA BONIN

Best Male Newcomer
RÉMY DUBERN

Best Female Newcomer
TOMOKA FUKUDA

Best AIDA Instructor
KAROL MEYER

Best AIDA Judge
GRANT W. GRAVES

Best Safety Diver
DAAN VERHOEVEN

Best Athletic Sportsmanship
LIV PHILLIP

Best Coach
MARC LENOIR

Best AIDA Volunteer
CARLA HANSON