Detectives in the Bahamas are investigating the drowning of a 32-year-old man from New York who was participating in a free diving tournament, police said yesterday. Event organizer William Trubridge identified the man as Nicholas Mevoli of Brooklyn. Trubridge said Mevoli was trying to break a record for the deepest "Constant No Fins" free dive at the International Free Diving Competition, a nine-day contest that organizers say brought 56 divers from 21 countries. They were competing for a $20,000 prize as they tried to see who could dive the deepest without fins.
The Bahamas competition took place at Dean's Blue Hole, which at 663 feet is considered the world's deepest underwater sinkhole in seawater. The incident occurred around 2pm off the coast of the Bahamas' Long Island. Mevoli's body was brought to shore, where a local doctor pronounced him dead, police said. His body was flown to Nassau, where an autopsy was expected. Mevoli was the current US record holder for "two or three other" free diving contests, Trubridge said, adding that the event was canceled after Mevoli's death.