London, Feb 17 (ANI): A Swiss diver is said to have broken the world record after he stayed underwater for almost 20 minutes without a breathing apparatus.
Peter Colat, 38, broke all previous records by holding his breath for an impressive 19 minutes and 21 seconds as he floated inside a water tank at an event in St Gallen, Switzerland.
Colat is an avid aficionado of freediving, an extreme sport where the aim is to stay under water, unaided by snorkels or oxygen tanks, for as long as possible.
The Swiss said the first 12 minutes were "no problem", though he found the last stretch of his record attempt much more challenging.
Before the attempt, he was allowed to breathe pure oxygen for 10 minutes to help him endure the physical effects of the dive.
He beat the previous record, held by Italian Nicola Putignano, by 19 seconds.
Peter Atkey, of the Diving Diseases Research Centre, was stunned by the record-beating time, and also talked about the fact that freedivers can drown after eight minutes without oxygen.
"It's an astonishing amount of time," Sky News quoted him as saying.
"It's clear that some people can put up with it a lot more.
"You teach your body to go without breathing for longer periods of time through progressive depth dives.
"(Freedivers) have some sort of physical predilection to it," he added. (ANI)