Freedivers train in Okanagan Lake

Click to play video: 'Okanagan freediver trains in cold lake'
Okanagan freediver trains in cold lake
If you fancy a dip in Okanagan Lake be warned it's only 4 Celsius today and the chilly temperatures were no match for two determined freedivers as they pushed themselves to the limit. Sydney Morton has the story. – Mar 3, 2024

Casandra Cooper never thought her love of travel would take her to new depths around the world as a competitive freediver.

“Freediving is a sport that’s all on breath hold. So what we do is we go out, we set a line and essentially we go down as deep as possible.,” said Cooper.

The Cooper was born and raised in Kelowna, B.C. and set off to travel the world when she was 18-years-old. Since her first dive in Egypt, she spends most of her time in the Phillipines so she can train in warmer water.

“I really got into it in COVID, I got locked down in Egypt with some incredible divers so the sky was really the limit,” said Cooper. “I progressed a lot in my first year, did my first three competitions in my first year and the rest was history.”

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Right now, she’s home in Kelowna for a visit and continuing her training in Okanagan Lake. To keep it interesting she is inviting friends to try out her sport alongside her.

Kris Pacardo has trusted Cooper to guide him on his first freedive.

“I have scuba dived in the past and snorkelled, but other than that this is totally new,” said Pacardo ahead of his first dive.

After a quick test run, Pacardo said, “it was good, it’s not too bad actually.”

On top of first time nerves, the two dove in 4C temperatures but they had wet suits to keep them warm.

Cooper says she will compete next in the Philippines in August this year.

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