Nicholas Mevoli
Personal information
Full nameNicholas Lawrence Mevoli III
Nickname(s)Nick, Nic[1]
Nationality United States
Born(1981-08-22)August 22, 1981
Dunedin, Florida, U.S.
DiedNovember 17, 2013(2013-11-17) (aged 32)
The Bahamas

Nicholas Lawrence Mevoli III (August 22, 1981 – November 17, 2013)[2] was an American freediver who died while attempting to set an American record at the Vertical Blue competition at Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas.[3][4]

Early life

Mevoli was born in Dunedin, Florida, and lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.[2][3][5] He worked as a prop technician in the film and television industry in New York, including on The CW series Gossip Girl and the Comedy Central series Chappelle's Show.[6][7][8] He was also an actor, technician and writer with Rising Sun Performance Company,[8][1] and starred in the 2004 independent film Exist.[9][10][11]

Mevoli began free-diving competitively in early 2012. He won titles twice at the Deja Blue competition and finished third at the Caribbean Cup in Roatán, Honduras. He achieved an American record in the Caribbean Cup on May 27, 2013, with a dive to 100 meters in the Constant Weight (CWT) category.[12] He finished third in the Constant Weight Without Fins (CNF) category at the free-diving world championships in Greece in September 2013.[3]


On November 15, 2013, Mevoli attempted to reach a depth of 96 metres (315 ft) in the Free Immersion (FIM) category at Vertical Blue, but had to turn back at 80 metres (260 ft) after suffering an upper respiratory squeeze.[3]

Two days later, Mevoli attempted a CNF dive to 72 metres (236 ft) on a single breath.[3][4] He began to turn back at 68 metres (223 ft), but appeared to change his mind and dived downward again. Mevoli returned to the surface after 3 minutes and 38 seconds underwater, but fell backward into the ocean and lost consciousness. Safety divers and the event physician attempted to revive Mevoli, whose pulse disappeared. After resuscitation efforts had continued for 90 minutes, he was transported to Vid Simms Memorial Health Center, reportedly suffering from pulmonary edema.[2][3] Mevoli died at 1:44 p.m. He was the first athlete to die in an international free-diving competition.[3]

The New York Times published a photograph of a visibly distressed Mevoli taken just after his return to the surface from his last dive and shortly before he lost consciousness.[1] Some readers questioned the ethics of publishing the photograph.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Branch, John; Skolnick, Adam; Broad, William J.; Pilon, Mary (November 18, 2013). "A Diver's Rise, and Swift Death, at the Limits of a Growing Sport". The New York Times. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Nicholas Lawrence MEVOLI III Obituary". Tampa Bay Times. November 24, 2013. Retrieved November 27, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Skolnick, Adam (November 17, 2013). "A Deep-Water Diver From Brooklyn Dies After Trying for a Record". The New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Levs, Josh; Ahmed, Saeed (November 18, 2013). "Nicholas Mevoli dies trying to set freediving record". Cable News Network. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  5. ^ Pearson, Jake (November 17, 2013). "Nicholas Mevoli, Record-Setting U.S. Diver, Dies At Freediving Contest In Bahamas". Associated Press. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  6. ^ McNulty, Matt; Soltis, Andy (November 18, 2013). "Brooklyn diver had film dreams". New York Post. Retrieved November 20, 2013.
  7. ^ Namako, Tom (November 18, 2013). "Nicholas Mevoli, a Free-Diver from Brooklyn, Dies During Competition". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  8. ^ a b c Moore, Lela (November 20, 2013). "Readers React to Death of a Diver, and an Image of Him". The New York Times. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  9. ^ Glucksman, Mary (Summer 2002). "In Focus". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  10. ^ Nic Mevoli at IMDb[unreliable source?]
  11. ^ Lee, Nathan (December 1, 2005). "Two Young Radicals and Their Dovetailing Destinies". The New York Times. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  12. ^ Koe, Francesca (May 27, 2013). "The First American to 100 Meters: Nicholas Mevoli". Deeper Blue. Retrieved November 20, 2013.