Watch Divers Explore an Underwater Plane Wreck

Hold your breath, take a dive and explore an underwater vintage plane in this freediving video.
Daan Verhoeven exploring a plane underwater.
The plane sits in an English freshwater quarry © Daan Verhoeven
By Tarquin Cooper

It lies 30 meters (100 feet) down at the bottom of a disused quarry in the west of England, a long forgotten light aircraft that once patroled the skies. Since 2006, the year it was intentionally sunk, the plane has been a star attraction for freedivers bold enough to explore inside.

In the video below, freedivers Daan Verhoeven and Tim Money show you what it's like to explore the plane armed with just a 'monofin' and a single breath of air.

The pair plunge to a depth of 27 meters where the plane sits on the lake bed and, amazingly, they then swim through the 20-meter craft, committing themselves to a dive where no exit is possible.

“It takes some mental convincing to make yourself go in there,” says Verhoeven. Any freedive into an "overhang" environment is freaky, as you can't just swim for the surface – you have to find your way out first. You have to keep your mind under control.”

And that nearly became an issue for Money, who got stuck as he tried to exit the cockpit.

Daan spapping a shark selfie.
Daan grabs a shark selfie on a previous dive © Daan Verhoeven

“It turned out Tim's monofin was wider than the cockpit door,” says Verhoeven, “so when he wanted to swim through, his fin wouldn't let him. Some people would have panicked at that point, but Tim simply looked back to assess the situation, saw the problem, rotated his legs so his fin could get through, and got out. He showed excellent control.”

Want to make the dive film even more authentic? Try holding your breath during the clip. Daan and Tim hold theirs for between 1 minute 40 seconds and 1 minute 50 seconds – just under the length of the video. (But be sure to start breathing again if you start to struggle!)

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