Following the Live From Space show, in which National Geographic aired a live broadcast from the International Space Station, the channel will send a live camera to follow a freediver into the depths of the earth’s ocean.
The challenge will take part in the Bahamas, with world champion freediver William Trubridge, from New Zealand, who will attempt to swim 350 feet without oxygen – a distance longer than the height of the Statue of Liberty.
Trubridge is no stranger to extreme water challenges; he currently holds the record for free immersion and the constant weight without fins disciplines, but freediving comes with its own risks. The breath-holding technique means that a freediver could experience a shallow-water blackout – which causes the diver to faint underwater, and potentially die.
Freediving is not a new phenomenon; Japanese and Mediterranean men and women have used the technique for hundreds of years to collect fish and valuable pearls at the bottom of the ocean. It still regarded by outdoor fanatics as a way to experience the depths of the ocean without the heavy tanks and expensive equipment that affect free movement.
Live adventure challenges have become the latest in TV stunts. Prior to Nat Geo’s Live From Space show, Discovery Channel aired Nik Wallenda’s live highwire walk over the Grand Canyon, which gained the channel 13 million viewers. Meanwhile, YouTube broadcasted a Felix Baumgartner skydiving from space in 2012, which became the most watched live event on the web channel.
The air date for National Geographic’s Free Dive Live with William Trubridge has not yet been released.