Interview: Evgeny Sychev – the first man who has swam through Dahab Canyon
A few days ago Russian freediving instructor Evgeny Sychev enrolled in bold in the history of freediving. He has swam through the deepest part of the well-known Sahan Canyon in Dahab, Egypt. And it seems that he did it as the first in the world! We decided to find out what had led him to this dive, and how was the experiment conducted. For you to have a better idea of how this dive looked like we enclose some photos and video.
Evgeny, you have recently swam through the deepest part of the well-known Dahab Canyon in Egypt. Can you describe this location a little closer?
Access to the underwater part of the canyon is at a depth of about 22 meters, followed by a system of caves ( lengh 50m diagonally), finished by exit at a depth of 50 meters. Therefore, after you enter the cave you descend steeply to a depth of 45 meters and then almost more than half the distance swim at a depth of 45-48 meters.
How did you get the idea to swim the deepest and by far the most dangerous part of the canyon?
It´s pretty well known place. Each time Natalia and Alexey Molchanov are in Dahab, they dive here. And not only them. Most freedivers have already tried the upper parts of the canyon. There are several entrances at a depth of 15-22 meters, which makes it really popular location. Last year I tried to swim through a part of the long tunnel. Halfway there is a small gap, through which if necessary you can swim up to the surface. Then it was just a short way to the idea of swimming through it all. It was very interesting. It is true that it was fairly complicated logistics - I needed technical diver so that I could carry out my plans.
How long did the training and have you studied some special material about the route before?
The first third I already knew and the rest of the route I studied from the videos of technical divers. As a diver, I could not get there, because I do not have the appropriate qualifications for scuba diving. But some tech divers made a video of the canyon that helped me with planning. It was important, because there are a few places where it is not clear where to go - very narrow tunnel.
What feelings you experienced during the experiment? Respect, fear?
I love these caves and I certainly was not afraid. No panic have arisen. In this sense, I was all the time convinced that if something goes wrong, I can always turn around and try to swim back up. So, I was not particularly afraid, but there was one moment in a very narrow place, when it appeared a natural desire to get back up from there, but in the end you anyway have to go down to a depth of 50 meters and swim out. It was a little scary.
What do you mean ?
The whole cave I swam at a very high speed. Because I've seen what it is about the distance that must be overcome (the buoy on the surface), but under the water line runs along the diagonal and it is not clear how much is left at the end of the tunnel, and in addition, you still climb back up to the surface from a depth of 50 meters and all in one breath. Of course, I tried not to delay and swim really fast. I had only one thought it would be faster and faster. When I saw after leaving the cave the open sea, so I slowed down, relaxed, and thought: "! Now that's well-being" put on his helmet back neoprene (she moved when I swam in a cave - such was the speed), and began to rise slowly.