Discovery Channel Canada

William breathing into an apparatus to measure residual oxygen content in his lungs after a work out. Tests are carried out by Christian Moia under the watchful eye of Dr. Guido Ferretti.

Dr. Guido Ferretti is explaining the nature of the research he is conducting

...and "Action" !

Discovery Channel and the Science of Freediving

“Deep Sea Lungs” aired on Discovery Channel (Canada) in November 2008

Back in early July, William found himself with a film crew at an outdoor swimming pool in Geneva, having just come back from intense training with former freediving world record holder Pierre Frolla in Monaco. He was about to experience what proved to be a very tiring 12-hour day of filming for the Discovery Channel.

Having approached William earlier this year, Discovery Channel wanted to put together a 6-minute segment about him and the research currently conducted by Dr. Guido Ferretti, MD, PD, for their Daily Planet show.

Dr. Ferretti is a Professor of Human Physiology at the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology, School of Medicine at the University of Brescia, Italy; and Professor and Research Director at the Department of Basic Neurosciences, School of Medicine at the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

You may read here the latest publication pertaining to breath-hold diving by Dr. Ferretti et. al.

After several hours of training in the pool, subjecting himself to the lengthy and repeated tests measurements, it was time for William and the crew to pack up and head for the laboratory located at the School of Medicine of the University of Geneva.

After a quick light meal – mostly for the crew, as William needed to have an empty stomach for the rest of the experiment – he was hooked up to a breathing apparatus to take different recordings at rest.

The “fun” part followed when the same test was done while he was running on a threadmill. Once the measurement was taken, the videographer insisted that William run for several more minutes as he needed him to look like he was sweating for the camera… Once William was off the threadmill catching his breath, he said that someone might as well have thrown water at him for effect instead of inflicting him the pain of running the extra lab mile.

The day of filming was concluded with an interview of William by the lake complete with swans and ducks in the background. Evidently, these extras did not make the final cut. Our apologies.

The open water images of this 6-minute segment were taken during William’s trip to Crete late July.

While the segment aired on the Daily Planet show tv in November 2008, it has since re-run and is visible online. To watch the Daily Planet show in which the segment appears, click here.
To watch the segment click here.

William Winram would like to thank Dr. Guido Ferretti and Christian Moia for their expertise, patience and availabilty; Laura Boast, Segment Producer of the Daily Planet at Discovery Channel (Canada), for her interest and continued support; Discovery Channel (Canada) for taking the time to produce a representative segment about freediving for the general public, without exploiting the extreme nature of the sport into sensationalism; last but not least, Stavros Kastrinakis, Laurent Egli and Urs Lotze, the film crew.

Many thanks to the authorities at the City of Lancy, Geneva, Switzerland, who graciously provided the 50-meter pool.

Photos by Elizabeth Golay