Press Portfolio

Press Portfolio



No-limits free diving record holder – 171m

Biography Philosophy Interests Media

Contact Info:
Loïc Leferme Association
Val Leferme



Loïc Leferme was born on the 28th of August 1970 in Malo-les-Bains near Dunkirk in northern France.


Loïc lived in Dunkirk up until the age of 12 where he learned how to swim in competition pools with his father, a professional swimmer and his grandfather, a national swimming teacher. As an adolescent, Loïc headed for the backcountry of Nice (Thorenc) and discovered mountain life…


In 1990, Loïc studied at the Faculty of Sports in Nice and became friends with a very important figure in his life, Claude Chapuis, one of his instructors who taught a free diving course. A small group of students signed up for the class during their studies. At the time free diving was not really practiced as a group sport.
Loïc ended up staying with this small group and started his first free diving training courses in 1991.


Claude Chapuis, among others, and Loïc founded AIDA (International Association for the Development of Apnoea), which opened an important chapter for free diving helping the sport progress, leading to the advent of competitions as well as the first rules of diving.
In September 1996, they created the first free diving team world championship.


The same year, Loïc realised that he had a true passion for free diving. He felt at ease down under and controlled the different pressure levels. In the same year he bet the record with a 75 meter dive in variable weight. (The diver descends on the sled and pulls himself up along a line while using his fins).
He held the world record.

In 1999, Claude and Loïc created C.I.P.A (the International Centre of Apnoea Diving), ( This centre welcomed young free divers from all over, of all ages as well as sport teams that were sprouting up here and there due to the first diving competitions organised by A.I.D.A.

With his diving group, Loïc continued to conquer ever greater ocean depths and established 5 world records in no-limit free diving (the diver is pulled down into depths with a weighted sled and uses an air-filled bag to return to the surface). :


Loïc reached

  • - 137m on the 5th of June 1999
  • - 152m on the 22nd of June 2000
  • - 154m on the 18th of August 2001
  • - 162m on the 20th of October 2002
  • - 171m on the 30th of October 2004


Loïc died on the 11th of April 2007 while training for a new world record set for July 2007.





This diving group is based on friendship and loyalty. Some divers that were there when it all began still contribute today to the progress and drive of free diving. Loïc’s safety monitoring team still uses the same practices as when he set his first record. The younger generation of divers however share their new ideas and dynamic attitude…


Teaching has always been the group’s main objective. This is based on the idea of sharing, friendship, and experiencing an out of this world adventure.


The group uses methods that are greatly inspired by nature. The team’s philosophy: is built on sharing know-how and methods with each other.
Loïc has grown up in the water, and practiced activities such as rock climbing, cannoning, mountaineering, and speleology, where as others practice skiing, sailing etc.


Apnoea is unpredictable …


Achievements: off the harbour of Villefranche-sur-mer, a small sea-water bay that protects divers from currents and waves even on days when the Mediterranean sea is rough…
Villefranche-sur-mer is a magical place and divers can practice their sport on a daily basis. Divers who train for new record attempts are stress free. The sea is part of nature and like the mountains, the Earth and the wind they are elements of nature that must be part of us…
Loïc’s team strongly believed that divers must not be in a hurry nor follow a strict calendar based on performance when practicing free diving.

Loïc’s training was always progressive and timed according to his ability to adapt to pressure in great depths and in accordance to technical equipment and safety measures required to practice this sport.

Safety was the key element in training. The team constantly adapted the diving system used to safely descend and bring back divers.

The ability to adapt is an essential aspect of diving …


A part from training for new record attempts for periods of up to 10 months, Loïc also took part in festivals, sport competitions, free dive competitions as a guest or as part of the jury …


Many companies asked him to participate in private events to share the group’s values and diving experiences.


Since 2003, in collaboration with the company, Inspiration Production, he started filming his diving to truly share his adventure and the feelings he experienced in this discipline.


  • 2003 « Afghan Blue » 52 ‘produced by Loïc Leferme and Guillaume Nery.
  • 2004 « Profondeur Absolue » 9’ produced by Loïc and Val Leferme

Films dedicated to Loïc:

  • 2002 « Les hommes poissons » 52’ produced by David Rosanis
  • 2007 « les chemins de la profondeur » 52’ produced by David Rosanis – Zadig Productions



Loïc Leferme and Guillaume Nery, Band-E-Amir lakes– Afghanistan 20



Media: Since Loïc’s death 

The Press:

Articles published in:
Most of the main French daily newspapers: Libération, L’humanité, Le Monde …

French sports newspapers: Apnéa, L’Equipe,

Foreign newspapers: Apnea Agua, The Sunday Times, Global People (China) …

Respects paid in:
Paris Match magazine (19th to 25th of April)
Die Zeit June 2007
L’équipe Mag


French News broadcasts: TF1, LCI, France 2 and France 3…

Stade 2

Sport, celebrity and political figure tributes:

Jacques Chirac, French President
SAS, Prince of Monaco, Albert
Jean François Lamour, former Sports Minister
Christian Estrosi, Minister for Regional Planning and President of the General Council and former overseas territories minister

Luc Besson, filmmaker
Jean marc Barr, actor

Stéphane Diagana
Jean Galfione
Bixente Lizarazu
Edgar Gropiron
Laura Flessel
Nadji Doucouré
Richard Dacouri
Jean Pierre Dick
Franck Proffit
Christophe Pinna
Franck Esposito
Jean Camille Oyac


« 100 ans d’exploration » Company of French explorers October 2007

« Le mental des Champions » Comprendre la réussite sportive Hubert Ripoll – avril 2008

Press reports from last record held in 2004

Press reports:

French Sports magazine, Equipe, on the 30th of October 2004
French Figaro magazine, in October 2004
Ça m’intéresse, in December 2004
Okapi n°778
Télé loisirs n°978
Sport et Vie, special edition n°21
France Dimanche, in November 2004
Vivre l’aventure n°19
Apnéa, in November and December 2004
Ecoute, in February 2005
Sport 28, in January 2005

Journal des Flandres, on the 3rd of November 2004 and 27th of January 2005
Midi sports, on the 31st of October 2004
La voix du nord, on the 30th of October 2004
Le Parisien, on the 30th of October 2004
Le progrès des sports, on the 20th of December 2004
Le Matin, on the 1st of November 2004
Nice Matin, on the 31st of October and the 22nd of November 2004


« 7 à 8 » TF1 November 2004
« Vie privée vie publique » France 3, on the 16th of June 2004
« 20h10 pétantes » Canal +
France 5 « Journal de la Santé » in March 2005

On the 30th of October 2004:

France 3 (nord pas de Calais region) on the 7 o’clock news
France 3 (côte d’azur region) on the12 o’clock and 7 o’clock news
France 3 national news at 7 o’clock and Soir 3 news
TF1 8 o’clock news
LCI sports week end
M6 Six’

On the 31st of October 2004:

« Stade 2 » France 2
TV5 10 o’clock news
France 2 1 o’clock news
Infosport sport week-end

On the 1st of November 2004:

« Télématin » France 2


On the 30th of October 2004:

France bleue, on the 2 and 9 o’clock news
France Inter, on the 1 and 7 o’clock news
France bleue Provence, on the 7 and 12 o’clock regional news
France Info, on the half one news
RTL2, on the 1 o’clock news
RMC, on the half twelve news

On the 31st of October 2004

France bleue Provence, on the 6 o’clock news
France inter, on the 8 o’clock news

1st of November 2004:

France bleue nord  Sports newspaper 


10 pages of magnificent photos and one on the cover

VSD: 5 pages

France 4: 26 minutes on the life of the athlete

TF1: STAR ACADEMY: Loïc gives candidates a free diving lesson