NEW YORK (AP) – Police say a 32-year-old New York City man who broke the U.S. constant weight record for freediving soon after beginning his competitive career last year died Sunday while participating in a tournament in the Bahamas.
Officials say Nicholas Mevoli, who lived in Brooklyn, died around 2 p.m. off the coast of the Bahamas’ Long Island, about 164 miles southeast of the capital of Nassau. His body was flown to Nassau, where an autopsy is expected.
A Switzerland-based worldwide federation for breath-holding diving says Mevoli reached the 72-meter depth of the no fins dive, swam back to the surface but had difficulty breathing while completing surface protocol and lost consciousness.
Freedivers, unlike scuba divers, enter the water without air tanks, regulators and hoses and swim to various depths relying entirely on the air held in their lungs.
Mevoli’s uncle says his nephew got hooked on diving as an 8-year-old boy on trips to the Florida Keys.
The uncle says the Florida native worked in the television industry in New York and was writing a screenplay about a young man on a boat and his adventures in the Florida Keys.