The huge loss of life from the great storm of 1703

How freediving skills are helping people relax in an ever-changing world

It’s easy to look at Adam Stern and decide freediving is not for you.  Descending 93 metres into an underwater trench and having to hold your breath for six-and-a-half minutes isn’t for everyone.

A freediver at Kilsby Sinkhole on South Australia’s Limestone Coast.(Supplied: Adam Stern)

At least that’s what many people think.  “The average human walking on the street can actually hold their breath between four and five minutes before they’re unconscious,” Adam says.

“Sometimes freediving has this perception of being this really big terrifying risky thing because they’ve seen videos of people diving 100 metres underwater.

Despite growing up on the shores of Copacabana on the Central Coast, Adam didn’t try freediving until a backpacking trip around Thailand when he was 21.

“Because you have no idea what a great freediver you already are, you go and do it and feel like you’ve discovered a superpower. Like, I can do this incredible thing that I didn’t know existed,” Adam says.

“People tend to, when they get into it, tend to identify as freedivers very strongly.”

Now Australia’s freediving record holder, the “Sea Lord” as he’s sometimes referred to, teaches people from across the world on his Deep Weeks — a week-long “freediving festival slash learning event”….READ ON

Weatherwatch: the huge loss of life from the great storm of 1703

The list of the worst disasters that have befallen Great Britain is topped by the Black Death of 1347-50 when about 3.5 million died. The current Covid pandemic is placed sixth, behind the 1557 influenza outbreak, which claimed 200,000 lives.

More than 8,000 people died, the highest death toll from a recorded weather event in Great Britain

The highest placed weather-related death toll is the great storm of 1703 when 8,000 were killed. Hurricane-force winds sank dozens of ships in the Channel and North Sea including a number of Royal Navy warships. Some vessels that did survive were driven hundreds of miles north and west before the sailors could regain control of their vessels.

There was loss of life on land too. People as well as thousands of farm animals drowned in extensive flooding in the West Country, and a large number of people were killed by falling trees, flying debris and chimney stacks falling through roofs…READ ON

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