By Mark McConville
INCREDIBLE images and video footage has captured a brave diver swimming upside down under a layer of ice before diving into an underwater plane and a submarine wrecks – without any breathing equipment.
The spectacular video shows the freediver plunge through a hole in the ice before gliding up against the frozen sheet as he makes his way towards an exit hole.
The amazing footage also shows the diver swim down and explore a plane wreck before diving 65 feet below the surface to sit on top of a submarine wreck.
The thrilling video and pictures were taken at Morrison’s Quarry near Ottawa in Canada by IT tech lead Mathieu Villegas (42) from Montréal, Québec.
“Freediving under the ice is a very unusual experience, which gives freedivers a strange and exiting feeling,” he said.
“So, I decided to bring my GoPro to try to share it. We can see that the ice under the snow is extremely clear and the effect on the camera is quite cool. This a very funny experience.
“The only issue is that since we are very close to the ice it may be difficult to see the exit hole, so it is important to clearly see it before diving and go straight to it.”
Mathieu, who shot the footage with a GoPro Hero 3 and a Go Pole, also spoke about the experience of diving down to explore the wrecks in the water.
“The dive to the plane: for freedivers, diving in a wreck is every time a cool experience,” he said.
“In this case, the hole in the ice is not directly over the plane, so you need to swim to the plane and then when leaving the plane, you have to spot the exit hole in the ice and swim to it.
“The second sequence is a dive to a submarine wreck at 65 feet. This is a cool feeling when you are at the bottom and you look up, because you can see the ice creating a sort of massive dome over you.”
There are, of course, some issues to diving in freezing cold water – namely keeping warm.
“The main issue in a cold situation is to keep the battery warm as long as possible to keep them with enough energy,” said Mathieu.
“The first time I went diving under ice the battery were dead when I started diving because of the cold. For the rest, as long as you can handle the cold water everything is ok.”