Freediver Andrea Zuccari Missing At Sea

Andrea Zuccari (48) has gone missing whilst diving off the coast of Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. The Italian-Swiss freediver disappeared in the Red Sea on August 28, he is presumed dead.

Missing while scuba diving

The record-breaking freediver ran the Freediving World Apnea Centre in Sharm El Sheik. He was scuba diving to carry out maintenance work on the diving platform at a depth of 45-50m when he disappeared. When other divers noticed that he had not surfaced within the normal time frame, they launched a search operation. The team searched for a day but did not recover his body. However, they did find some of his diving equipment.

Freediving is an extremely dangerous sport, everyone who partakes is aware of the risks. Scuba diving tends to be less dangerous. Zuccari’s disappearance shocked the diving community, he was a hugely experienced freediver and scuba diver and knew the waters well.

Zuccari was a scuba instructor and set up the Freediving World Apnea Centre in 2012 to help people train for his real passion: freediving.


A record breaker with no limits

Just months after setting up his center, Zuccari broke the record for No-Limits apnea (a style of freediving) and descended 155m. In 2014, he reached a depth of 175m. “This result is worth double to me, it is not only the Italian record but also the world’s deepest dive ever wearing the mask,” he told Deeper Blue at the time.

In 2017 he broke his record again, diving to 185m. “In No-Limits you descend with the aid of a weighted sled, and return to the surface using an inflatable lifting bag. This is the method that allows you to go the deepest. It is called No Limits because there are no limits to the weight on the sled, there is no limit in the speed at which one descends or surfaces, and there are no specifications for the design of the sled itself,” Zuccari said in an interview with Alert Diver in 2015.

He had hoped to take part in the Freediving World Cup later this year.

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca McPhee is a freelance writer for ExplorersWeb.

Rebecca has been writing about open water sports, adventure travel, and marine science for three years. Prior to that, Rebecca worked as an Editorial Assistant at Taylor and Francis, and a Wildlife Officer for ORCA.

Based in the UK Rebecca is a science teacher and volunteers for a number of marine charities. She enjoys open water swimming, hiking, diving, and traveling.