Francisco "Pipín" Ferreras of Matanzas, Cuba, is one of the world's most famous freedivers and spearfishers. He's known as much for the hundreds of feet below the surface he's traveled on a single breath of air, as for losing his wife Audrey Mestre to the sport when she was attempting to break his world record.
Miami New Times wrote a feature story on that incident, followed by Sports Illustrated, and then James Cameron bought the rights to his life story and his book The Dive.
Pipín runs the fishing and diving lifestyle company Persistent Team, and sells a complete line of dive and spearfishing gear out of his headquarters in Doral. He's also filming his own adventure-reality series called Hunting The Abyss, starring bikini girls with spear guns shooting big fish around the world.
We recently caught up with Pipín and his show's star, Canadian model Nina Melo, as they train at a Miami pool.
In the following video Pipín demonstrates his breathing technique before a pool exercise where he dives underwater for minutes at a time repeatedly with only a few breaths on the surface between. He says this helps develop the "marine-mammal reflex," the driving force behind respiration and circulation in dolphins, whales, and seals.
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Even while working on this reality show, Pipín is plotting his next world records. He plans to dive deeper on one breath than any person ever has in human history, and also to make the most consecutive dives to depth in 20 minutes. Watch his training in action below.