In the Maldives with extreme athlete and freediving Herbert Nitsch

I met the "Deepest Man on Earth" on Coco Bodu Hithi

A unique experience: Freediving in the Maldives with Herbert Nitsch. Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer
A unique experience: Freediving in the Maldives with Herbert Nitsch. Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer

[unpaid advertising because press trip] The Maldives in the Indian Ocean are the realm of the islands and one of the most spectacular travel destinations in the world. Just a few meters above sea level, hundreds of kilometers of dream island line up on a dream island. In addition to the capital Malé, only a few islands are home to locals and just a few islands are open to tourists. Wherever there are hotels, these are usually dreamlike luxury resorts like the island of Coco Bodo Hithi. There I met with the extreme athlete and "deepest man in the world", Herbert Nitsch, to interview and portray him to his exciting life. You will soon find the articles in relevant magazines.

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Unfortunately, it is not granted to many people in their lives to travel to the Maldivesas the hotel staff in the luxury resort Coco Bodu Hithi tell me. Not even one percent of the people in Europe and North America come in your life on the small island group in the Indian Ocean. Holiday in this tropical paradise is still exclusive today. Many Europeans do not even know where this very special island group is located southwest of Sri Lanka and southeast of the Arabian Peninsula. But this place has something magical about it.

My second visit to the Maldives has a special occasion

On my second visit to the Maldives, I meet with the extreme diver and "Deepest Man on Earth" Herbert Nitsch, who holds the world record in freediving with unbelievable 249,5 meters for years. The former pilot job is in the Maldives to teach freediving for locals and resort guests. Freediving is diving without a compressed air cylinder and currently a very trendy sport. Herbert Nitsch is one of the most talented professionals in this sport. I had the unique opportunity to talk to him and his wife and manager Jeanette Woldman about Coco Bodu Hithi and get to know him.

At first, we practice controlling our breath. Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer
At first, we practice controlling our breath. Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer

Freediving course with Herbert Nitsch in the Maldives

The sport Apnoetauchen currently is totally in vogue. In recent years, more and more divers, who usually also with a diving device and compressed air cylinder into the water, have switched to this sport. Because the freediving has many advantages: You do not need a heavy device and can under water move freely. As a diving journalist, I was rather skeptical about freediving and for a long time preferred to rely on the good, old compressed air cylinder, with which I was able to stay under water between 45 and 60 minutes. It was not until my freediving course with Herbert Nitsch in the Maldives that I learned that things could be different.

Maldives Island Coco Bodu Hithi: Simply a heavenly place! Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer
Maldives Island Coco Bodu Hithi: Simply a heavenly place! Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer

Learn freediving on the dream island Coco Bodu Hithi

I have about a week on the beautiful island Coco Bodu Hithi learned freediving together with Herbert Nitsch. We started with breathing exercises and meditation and learned to hold our breath for a longer time. In an illustrious group of hotel guests and employees of the resort, we have tried together exercises and then rose into the pool to gain initial practical experience. I used to be someone who could not hold my breath for more than 30 seconds. And I did not think that would change anything. But on our first few exercises, it turned out that with a bit of skill, I could even hold my breath for up to two minutes. After a certain period of practice, it went on to the reef.


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Maldives: freediving at the house reef of Coco Bodu Hithi

After practicing for a few days, we finally ventured to the freediving at the house reef of Coco Bodu Hithi. On the Maldives Many resorts have an offshore reef, where divers and snorkelers can let off steam. And free divers, of course! Together with the exceptional talent Herbert Nitsch we are there and have tried in apnea. Just as with traditional scuba diving, you are in the buddy team during freediving, so one of the buddies secures while the other dives.

Herbert Nitsch on the descent. Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer
Herbert Nitsch on the descent. Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer

While a traditional dive tour takes between 45 and 60 minutes, the apnea diving consists of many small sessions. Alternating, we dived down to about 15 meters on the reef and slipped silently through the water. The scenery was spectacular! Turtles, rays and sharks encountered us. Only here out there with a little more depth you understand as a newcomer, what great freedom freediving offers. Without a device and completely noiseless one rushes into the deep and just float there. Animals do not scare, you get close to the marine life and deep relaxation sets in, because you can move with much more leisure and mindfulness. Freediving on the reef is just a fantastic experience!

Herbert Nitsch on Coko Bodu Hithi

The Five-star resort Coco Bodu Hithi is just a fantastic place to learn freediving. The hotel complex on a small island has a magnificent island structure with beach villas and water villas, built into the lagoon on footbridges. Velvety white beaches, palm trees and crystal clear, turquoise waters invite you to relax. Vacationers can expect excellent food and adventure with dolphin watching, diving, snorkeling, stand up paddling and many more water sports. You can also simply spend the whole day here with the delicious food. If you want to take a break from the world, relax on the beach or simply enjoy excellent food, you should try Bodu Hithi.

Water Villa on Coco Bodu Hithi: Delightful to relax! Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer
Water Villa on Coco Bodu Hithi: Delightful to relax! Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer

I have the place for this place Extreme athlete Herbert Nitsch met and got to know each other better. The extreme athlete has not only set impressive records, but is also a fantastic human being. I have rarely met such a disciplined person as Herbert. Together with his manager Jeanette Woldman he taught me a lot about performance and discipline in this one week. After his career as a pilot and freediver, Herbert now also works as a motivation coach and lecturer.


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About Sascha Tobias Tegtmeyer 95 Article
As a journalist, passionate diver and ambitious stand up paddler, I've become more and more specialized in water sports topics. For several years as an online editor, content and SEO manager for the year Top Special Verlag in Hamburg, I edited the leading diving portal TAUCHEN.de editorially and am at home in the water sports industry. My passion is the sea and all the activities that can be practiced on, in, on and under water. To give this child a name, I created www.just-wanderlust.com - for all people who love the sea - love to travel and water sports like diving, surfing, stand up paddling.