Brussels - Limbless adventurer Philippe Croizon became the world's first quadruple amputee Thursday to complete a 33-metre (100-foot) dive to the bottom of the world's deepest swimming-pool in the Belgian capital, Brussels.
“It was huge, an intense moment of happiness,” the Frenchman said after touching bottom accompanied by more than a dozen divers aged between 63 and 86.
French athlete Philippe Croizon (L), whose arms and legs were amputated after an electric shock accident in March 1994, swims next to an unidentified diver in a 33 metre (36 yard) deep pool, the world's deepest pool built to train professional divers, at Nemo33 diving centre in Brussels January 10, 2013. Croizon, who swam with adapted prostheses that had fins attached, broke a world record and became the first disabled person to dive to 33 metres, according to the organisers. REUTERS/Yves Herma. Credit: REUTERS
“Between us we're 1,000 years old and have done 35 000 dives in all the world's seas,” said Paul Sobol, 86.
“We wanted to show that diving was a great sport that was accessible to people of any age from eight years up, and even to the severely handicapped,” Croizon added.
Croizon, a former metal-worker, had all four limbs amputated in 1994 from the elbows and knees after being struck by an electric shock of more than 20,000 volts as he tried to remove a TV antenna
from a roof.
The 44-year-old used huge flippers attached to prosthetic limbs to swim.
Another diver guided him down to the bottom of Nemo 33, a private pool used by divers from the world over since it was opened in 2004.
“I was a bit aprehensive at first but once I touched bottom I didn't want to come up,” he said.
His latest exploit in August was a swim between islands in the icy Bering Strait to cross from America to Asia in the final part of a quest to link all continents.
His next challenge will be to swim one of the world's highest lakes, Lake Titicaca on the border of Peru and Bolivia. - Sapa-AFP