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Born in 1976, the Austrian Christian Redl fell in love with water as a young boy.
But 1996 was a key year for him when he saw the cult film The Big Blue and took up free-diving. At a championship meeting the same year, he met the famous free-diver, Umberto Pelizzari. A vocation was born.
This true merman, who pushes back the limits of the endurable, is considered to be one of the foremost free-diving specialists of his generation.
Christian Redl also holds several world free-diving records: the most impressive is probably the longest ever swim under ice (100 metres), although his crossing of several underwater caves in Mexico cannot be forgotten.
His ultimate aim is to surpass his own limits and make his dreams a reality. His dives under ice show that, apart from the exploit itself, it is about reaching out for and pushing back the limits of the extreme. The next major project is planned for Austria in early 2011, when Christian Redl will attempt to beat the world free-diving record for depth under ice. Equipped only with a 3 mm neoprene wetsuit, the diver will attempt to beat the record of 60 metres in water at barely 2 degrees. A daunting challenge at a depth where oxygen is rarified.
The dangers are many.
Extreme, life threatening cold. Unstable ice, where one slip could lead to oblivion. And sleeping in a tent in the middle of polar bear territory.
These are the risks champion free diver Christian Redl will face just getting to the start of his real mission – the world’s first free dive under ice at the geographic North Pole.
In February 2015, Redl and Australian photographer and cameraman Markus Fillinger (the first person to dive at both the North and South Poles) will set out on a trek from Canada to the icy wastelands of the North Pole, an expedition dubbed Mission North Pole.