Death of Bulgarian Diver Attempting World Record was Caused by Disorientation

Bulgarian Teodora Balabanova died while attempting to set a new world record for deep diving. Teodora’s husband, Mihail Balabanov, is in critical condition in hospital...

Death of Bulgarian Diver Attempting World Record was Caused by Disorientation

Bulgarian Teodora Balabanova died while attempting to set a new world record for deep diving. Teodora’s husband, Mihail Balabanov, is in critical condition in hospital. The tragic incident happened in Halkidiki, Greece, between the peninsulas of Kassandra and Sithonia on 24th of September.

Teodora and her husband Mihail went in the water to for the dive, for which they had been preparing for a long time.

The goal was to reach a depth of 231 metres underwater, which would have set a new world record for women and for them as a couple.

The world deep diving record for women so far is at a depth of 221 metres and was set in a cave in South Africa, where the risks are not as many as in open sea.

The attempt of the Bulgarian couple was planned to last about 5 hours and a half, but something went wrong. Teodora became disoriented. She was gradually pulled to the surface, but despite the doctor’s efforts to help her, she died.

"Significant changes take place in the human body at such depths," Professor Hristo Bozov, the Head of Department of Marine Medicine at Varna military hospital said.

"The deeper you dive, the pressure on the body increases. The oxygen becomes more concentrated in the blood as you dive and this is one of the unpleasant experience that happens underwater, which may cause problems to the central nervous system," prof. Bozov explained.

As you descend, the partial pressure of nitrogen in your lungs increases. Nitrogen is the cause of what is known as nitrogen narcosis. At that moment, divers may fall into a state of blurred consciousness and their judgement may be impaired. Teodora's husband, who also did not feel well during the dive, was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Thessaloniki, Greece.

"In such incidents, the main treatment is in hyperbaric chamber. The injured person should be entered into the hyperbaric chamber as soon as possible," prof. Bozov added.

Teodora and Mihail know the power of the sea well, the dangers and its magic. Diving opened up a new world for them. 17 years ago they fell in love with it from the first diving lesson. So much that it changed their lives.

They set up their own diving school in Greece, where many more followers plunge underater to uncover the secrets of the deep sea.

Everyone who knows Teodora says she was courageous, at the same time smiling and positive, and dedicated to her dreams.

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