Yasemin’s record attempt series ends with a dive to 106m


8-time freediving world champion Yasemin Dalkilic, who was in Kas, Antalya preparing for a world record attempt to 125 meters in the Limited Variable Ballast category, has canceled her official record date of May 2nd. After a 6 year absence from freediving, Yasemin had come back with the help of the main sponsor Turkcell, host location Kas, Hera Hotel, Linde Gases and Aquaclub Dive School. Everything was going as planned for Dalkilic who quickly had progressed through training dives to 80, 90 and 101 meters and then on April 22nd proceeded to set a new world record to 106 meters in a dive time 2:45 minutes. This dive improved on the F.R.E.E. existing record of 105 meters, also set by Dalkilic in 2001.
She was then ready to attempt her ultimate goal of 125 meters in this category on April 26th. On that dive Yasemin completed her descent to the bottom without much problems except for some severe vertigo that began around 90 meters. Feeling still strong and in control she arrived at the bottom and started her ascent. At around 70 meters she started experiencing disorientation and started to separate from the dive line. Once the separation became 5 meters the 2 safety divers positioned at 50 meters immediately went to her and signaled her in an effort to help her regain the line. Yasemin continued to suffer from disorientation and suddenly lost consciousness at around 40 meters. She was immediately grabbed by the safety divers who activated a standard F.R.E.E. rescue device attaching a liftbag to a harness worn by Yasemin and sending her to the surface. At the surface, the surface team began revival procedures right away. Yasemin was suffering from airway blockage which made the revival more difficult and time consuming than usual, but she recovered eventually and together with a team of paramedics was taken to shore on a speed boat and from there to Antalya hospital by helicopter. She remained in the hospital for a way undergoing several tests which pointed to the cause of her rare problem. Based on the doctors’ findings and the observations of her team and Dalkilic herself of her previous dives it was decided that the problem started at the mucosa area around her frontal sinuses. Due to a virus Yasemin had suffered from months ago, that area was still inflamated and fragile. On that dive bleeding occurred in that area during the dive causing some of the blood to be sent to the inner ear during equalization on the descent, and causing the vertigo. The bleeding continued into the lungs which reacted by swelling up upon ascent. This created a pressure differential between lungs and airways which resulted in a drop in blood pressure that caused Yasemin to loose consciousness. The reaction of her lungs to the bleeding created the blockage that complicated the revival on the surface. This rare, but totally possible complication proves that freedivers need to be prepared for more than just shallow water blackouts and have a safety/rescue system in place that allows for quick extractions from deep water as well as shallow. More about this safety system and Yasemin’s impressions will be shared at her website.

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