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Another tragedy on the way to the World Record

A dive planned by 45-year-old Bulgarian woman Teodora Balabanova to a depth of 231 metres ended in dramatic circumstances. While attempting to set a new World Record in women’s diving, assisted by her husband, the couple encountered serious problems which ultimately led to the woman’s death. Her husband is in hospital in Thessaloniki in critical
Published: October 1, 2017 - 19:27
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 15:41
Another tragedy on the way to the World Record

A dive planned by 45-year-old Bulgarian woman Teodora Balabanova to a depth of 231 metres ended in dramatic circumstances. While attempting to set a new World Record in women’s diving, assisted by her husband, the couple encountered serious problems which ultimately led to the woman’s death. Her husband is in hospital in Thessaloniki in critical condition.

The attempt to set a new record was carried out on 24 September in Greece, in the waters of Toroneos Bay, on the Chalcidian Peninsula. The plan was to dive to a depth of 231 metres, which was to last five and a half hours. The whole thing was meticulously and long planned by Theodora and her 47-year-old husband Mikhail. The last training session performed on 15 September went without any problems and ended with a depth of 200 metres.

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The circumstances of the whole incident are unclear and there is not much information about the incident. However, it is known that the woman surfaced much earlier than planned and died a short while later. It is claimed that something happened while she was still submerged, below a depth of 200 metres.

Balabanova allegedly felt sick and lost her orientation, which led to panic, uncontrolled ascent, and ultimately to her death. Mikhail, with symptoms of caisson disease, was transported to hospital by helicopter after a three-hour forced decompression.

The couple were a pair of experienced divers. They had been diving together for 17 years and ran the Atlantis Diving Centre in Greece.

The World Record for the deepest female dive is 221 metres and was set in 2004, by Verna van Schaik in the legendary Boesmansgat cave, South Africa.

Source: divernet.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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