Lost in the Big Blue

Audrey Mestre was a star of the extreme sport of no limits free diving. But then she went too far

Audrey Mestre took the last of a series of deep breaths floating in the ocean off the Dominican Republic on Oct. 12, then plunged below the surface. The Frenchwoman, 28, dropped rapidly, one hand pinching her nose to help equalize the pressure in her ears, the other clinging to a metal-frame sled weighing 200 lbs. After 1 min. 42 sec., she reached 561 ft., the deepest any human has ever dived on one breath of air. A spokesman for Mares, the diving-equipment manufacturer that sponsored the event, said the water pressure Mestre endured was "akin to having an NFL linebacker standing...

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