Audrey Mestre

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Audrey Mestre
Born 11 August 1974
Died October 12, 2002(2002-10-12) (aged 28)
Bayahibe, Dominican Republic
Nationality French
Occupation Marine Biologist, Professional Freediver
Spouse(s) Francisco Rodriguez aka. Francisco "Pipin" Ferreras 1999-2002

Audrey Mestre (11 August 1974 - 12 October 2002) was a French world record-setting freediver.

Early life

Mestre was born in Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, to a family of snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts. She began swimming when she was still a baby and won a gold medal in a 25-meter swimming competition at only age two. She became a seasoned scuba diver by age thirteen but did not get full certification until her sixteenth birthday due to French law.[1] She was still in her teens when her family moved to Mexico City and, fluent in the Spanish language, she eventually studied marine biology at a university in La Paz, Mexico.

Relationship with Francisco "Pipín" Ferreras

In 1996 her interest in underwater sports led to her meeting free-diver Francisco "Pipín" Ferreras. They immediately developed a relationship and Mestre soon moved to Miami, Florida to live with Ferreras. There, she took up serious free-diving and with Ferreras as her instructor was soon reaching record depths. In 1999 the two diving aficionados married and the following year, off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Audrey Mestre broke the female world record by free diving to a depth of 125 meters (410 ft) on a single breath of air. A year later she broke her own record, by descending to 130 meters (427 ft).


On October 4, 2002, with a dive team under her husband's supervision, she made a practice dive off Bayahibe Beach in the Dominican Republic to the record depth of 166 metres (545 ft). After more deep dive practices, eight days later she prepared to attempt a dive to 171 metres, but at the bottom a problem developed with the lift balloon as she started her ascent.[2] A dive that should have been no more than three minutes resulted in her remaining underwater for more than eight and a half minutes. By the time her husband was able to bring her unconscious body to the surface, it was too late and she was pronounced dead at a hospital on shore.

In 2006, Venezuelan-born US-citizen Carlos Serra, a former IAFD-partner of Ferreras and co-organiser of Mestre's fatal record attempt, published a book The Last Attempt which received wide acclaim in and out of freediving circuits. In this book, Serra places the guilt for Mestre's death directly on Ferreras, practically accusing him of a crime. According to Serra's depiction, in October 2002 the Ferreras and Mestre marriage was on the brink of divorce after much abuse by Ferreras, possibly due to Ferreras being jealous about the attention Mestre was gaining at his expense. Serra argues that to punish his wife for wanting to leave him, Ferreras deliberately avoided filling the sled's air tank, a vital piece of equipment to ensure Mestre's return to the surface. [3][self-published source][better source needed]

Awards and accolades

Audrey Mestre was cremated, her ashes scattered at sea. In 2002, she was inducted posthumously into the Women Divers Hall of Fame and in August 2004 a book that tells her story was written by her husband and published under the title The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession (ISBN 0-06-056416-4).

In 2013, Mestre's life and career were chronicled in ESPN's No Limits as part of their Nine for IX series.[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Audrey's last dive". 2002. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  3. ^ Serra, Carlos (2006). The Last Attempt. [Philadelphia, Pa.]: Xlibris Corp. ISBN 1-4257-3840-0. OCLC 191696558. 
  4. ^ Cingari, Jennifer (February 19, 2013). "ESPN Films and espnW Announce Nine for IX". Retrieved February 27, 2013. 
Retrieved from ""
This content was retrieved from Wikipedia :
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article "Audrey Mestre"; it is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA). You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the CC-BY-SA