Want to make like a mermaid: Go see free divers at Emerald Bay Club on 3 March

Credit: Hong Kong Free Diving Association

If you want to learn about free diving, a popular sport in Sai Kung waters, go along to the Victoria Recreation Club on 3 March. The Hong Kong Free Diving Association will be giving a talk from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Occasionally you will see free divers at Trio Beach, Ung Kong Wan and Hoi Ha Wan. Unencumbered by oxygen tanks, they wear just wetsuits, long flippers and sometimes snorkels.

Prudence Lau is Hong Kong’s leading mermaid. She holds three records. With constant weight and fins she has descended to 42 metres, without fins to 16 metres and her free immersion record is 46 metres. Chris Cheung, president of the free diving association (HKFDA), is the male record holder. He has dived to 61 metres with constant weight and fins.

HKFDA instructors will give their next courses at San Po Kong swimming pool on February 28 and March 15. The courses cost $2500.  It’s a serious sport with real dangers demanding discipline. The instructors are all certified by AIDA (International Association for Development of Apnoea).  On March 28 the club’s instructors, qualified divers and students will head off to the Philippines for a free diving training course.

We can picture Marine Police officers wagging their fingers in warning. They have seen too many tragedies at sea. Don’t try this without proper training, don’t dive on your own and don’t go beyond your personal limits, the officers will tell you.

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