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Italian free diver Enzo Maiorca dies aged 85

Published 13/11/2016

Free diver Enzo Maiorca has died in Sicily
Free diver Enzo Maiorca has died in Sicily

Famed free diver Enzo Maiorca has died at the age of 85, the Italian navy says.

Giancarlo Garozzo, the mayor of Syracuse in Sicily, said Maiorca died there on Sunday. No cause of death was given.

Maiorca's friendly rivalry with diver Jacques Mayol inspired much of a 1988 film, The Big Blue, directed by Luc Besson. The two divers competed against each other, starting in 1966, taking turns as the record holder for free diving.

When they reached 249 feet (about 73 metres) in 1970, the International Federation ruled the depths too dangerous and refused to accept further records.

After stopping competitive diving, a navy statement says Maiorca dedicated himself to protecting the marine environment.

Maiorca has said he abandoned spear fishing after he felt the beating heart of a grouper he speared.

AP

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