Bob Croft – Father of American Freediving
In this podcast I chat with Bob Croft. Bob Croft is a legendary Navy Diver and is known as the “Father of American Freediving”. He also happens to be the inspiration for this podcast series – thus his distinction as the first episode. Bob and I were roommates at the 2002 Pacific Cup of Freediving. Each night over a Scotch or two, Bob would tell amazing stories about early scuba diving, military diving, and freediving. That time with Bob was the inspiration of this podcast – to sit and hear stories from the diving legends themselves.
Bob Croft honed his freediving talents as an instructor at the Naval Submarine Base’s submarine escape tank in New London, Connecticut. Daily he would reach depths of 118 feet and ultimately could hold his breath for over six minutes. These talents led to Bob challenging world record divers Jacques Mayol and Enzo Maiorca by hitting the world record freediving depth of 240 feet in 1967.
His freediving accomplishments led to him being one of the first freediving research subjects in the world. One of the greatest scientific discoveries that emerged from Bob Croft was the size of his lung volume after conducting “air packing” a technique he invented to add more air to the lungs – which competitive freedivers worldwide are using to this day.
Items in this Podcast
- Learned how to dive twice
- US Navy Submarine escape tank
- Early days of freediving
- Freediving research with Dr. Karl Shaefer
- Invention of the air packing technique
- Competition with Jacques Mayol
- World Record Freedive to 240’
- Advantages of freediving
- CBS The Adventures TV Show
- US Freediving Team
- Sea Hunt
- Physical vs. physiological freediving
- Advice for divers
- History of Diving Museum
Book Bob Croft: Navy Diver, Submariner and Father of American Freediving
Movie The Big Blue
Special thanks to our episode sponsor Aggressor Fleet
Thanks for Listening!
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