Nitsch descended on a sled and returned behind a lift-bag earlier this month, off the Croatian town of Sibenik. The dive was made with the Association for the International Development of Apnea (AIDA), which has the support of most of the worlds top competitive freedivers and runs their record attempts.

In the time-honoured tradition of AIDA record-setting, Nitsch squeezed beyond the previous mark of Frenchman Loic Leferme by just 1m. So the dive can be described as a new AIDA world record, though not as a record in absolute terms.

Belgian freediver Patrick Musimu, a controversial figure not currently in the AIDA fold, shook the world of No Limits with a dive to 209.6m in Egypt in July. AIDA was not involved and, while accepting that the depth was reached, did not recognise the dive.

No Limits is the only freediving category in which this situation has arisen. In other categories - which include depth and horizontal swimming tests using fins, plus breath-holding - AIDA's world record holders are also the deepest/longest in absolute terms.

Patrick Musiumu is a guest speaker at DIVE 2005, running at the NEC in Birmingham over 29/30 October.