From the 30th October – 18th November 2017, Croatian divers Lidija Lijić and Vitomir Maričić will head to the Himalayas in an attempt to set a new world record for the highest dive in the world.
On Friday 27th October 2017, a press conference was held at Villa Dubrava in Opatija for the Croatian expedition to the Himalayas for a World Record attempt. The conference was conducted by Director of Thalassotherapy Opatija and partner of the project – Viktor Peršić, Doctor of the Himalayan expedition – Viktor Ivaniš, Project leader and diver – Vitomir Maričić and Darija Bostijancic (summitted Everest and elite Croatian athlete).
Lidija Lijić, World and European champion and Vitomir Maričić, the Croatian extreme athlete, both from the Croatian diving team, will attempt to set a new world record for the highest dive in the world with breath (free diving).
“The altitudes and depths are apparently two contradictions, but are basically very similar in ambience. It is characterised by the beauty of the environment and the conditions of reduced oxygen, which should be good. This is my second visit to the Himalayas, this time in the new dimension of diving at height.”- Lidija Lijić
I first met Lidija when I interviewed her as a Character of the Sea, then two months ago I joined Lidija and Vitomir for a free diving workshop on Palmizana to see what it was all about. I was instantly mesmerised by the ‘Big Blue’ and inspired by their mad-passion for all things active (and extreme). See the video below of our experience with them…
The Himalayan Expedition is a massive project which will run from the 30.10 – 18.11; the team will journey to Nepal, Annapurna – which is a massif in the Himalayas that includes one peak over 8,000m (26,000 ft) thirteen peaks over 7,000 m (23,000 ft) and sixteen more over 6,000 m (20,000 ft) – Wikipedia. In ten days’ journey, the team will try to reach the 3 lakes in the hopes that they are not frozen and that they are suited to make a dive in the static discipline. Divers will wear suits from the Croatian manufacturer Subcraft which have been specifically made for this in 3mm neoprene. In pushing to acclimatise, they will climb one of the unmarked peaks on the way to the lake. The planned dive could be at an altitude of over 5,000 m, making it a difficult endeavour with the low-oxygen.
Lidija in the Alps
“I have often stayed at extreme heights through various expeditions and am comfortable in both environments – above and below the surface but to connect these two worlds will be a completely new experience. I am confident that it will be a fun and positive experience, the team is ready and motivated and the environment in which we will stay, though somewhat rough, is beautiful.” – Vitomir Maričić.
Vitomir training in Opatija Thalassotherapy
The divers will be accompanied by Dr Viktor Ivaniš, a Thalassotherapy physician from Opatija, who will, in cooperation with his team, keep track of divers before, during and after the project and, for the first time document the changes that can occur in the body during Apnea at such an extreme altitude. The Thalassotherapy clinic previously collaborated with the tandem Lijić-Maričić with their Guinness record freediving under ice earlier this year.
“Exposure to extreme heights comes with a certain adaptation of the organism. Measuring various parameters, such as oxygen saturation, spirometry, blood pressure, AMS score, we will try to gain insight into the height adjustment of each individual member during the expedition. As a person with the least experience at such heights, I hope the other members will look after me. “- Viktor Ivaniš
The extreme conditions will also be used by the diver to test Oris watches which are the main sponsor of the project and new lines of resistant smartphones ‘Evolveo’ from the Czech Republic. The entire project will be documented through video and photography and with them is known sports photographer Vladimir Šoić, as well as Marino Petretić, who will take care of the safety and logistics of the whole team.
An incredible project and ambitious goal but after meeting both Lidija and Vitomir, I have no doubt that they will achieve a new world record! Good luck to all involved and we look forward to following your progress.
To see more from Lijić and Maričić visit their official page here.