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Red Sea: Freediver Zuccari vanishes on scuba + woman missing

diver Andrea Zuccari
Andrea Zuccari

Italian-Swiss freediver Andrea Zuccari has disappeared while scuba diving in the Red Sea at Sharm el Sheikh. He was reported to have been using a DPV to carry out maintenance work on dive-platform cabling at a depth of 45-50m at his dive-centre on 28 August.

Divers have found some of his dive-gear but Zuccari remains missing and is presumed dead.

The 48-year-old instructor set an Italian No Limits record in 2017 with a 185m dive, and in the past had set a number of Swiss national records as well as tandem No Limits world records.

He had moved to Sharm in his late 20s to become a scuba instructor, later moving into technical diving before taking up freediving in 2006. He was competing from the following year and became an AIDA instructor in 2011.

Zuccari set up the Freediving World Apnea Centre at a Sharm hotel in 2012 to provide deep training facilities for divers at all levels, and became well-known as an expert in equalisation techniques. He introduced the DAN EqualEasy programme and, when not instructing in Sharm, toured with his Equalisation Academy workshops. 

Russian diver missing at Giftun

Further south in the Egyptian Red Sea, a Russian female diver is reported to have gone missing after diving caverns at the Giftun Islands near Hurghada.

Kristina Osipova, 44, from St Petersburg had been on a 10-day cruise and was diving with her husband Yuri Osipov, 41. The couple, who have four children, were described as experienced divers, but on the dive were reported to have ventured deeper than the planned maximum of 40m. It is not known what gas mix they were using.

Osipov aborted his dive after reportedly beginning to lose consciousness, and surfaced without his wife.

According to a news agency report, the Russian consulate later referred to Osiprov’s dive-computer indicating that he had reached a maximum depth of 400ft (120m): “This is the depth at which they were and both lost consciousness,” said a representative. Search operations using boats and divers were continuing.

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