April 30, 2019 1:09 pm

Ontario diver uses axe to escape ice in Georgian Bay

WATCH: An Ontario freediver was captured on video in March using an axe to chip through the icy surface of Georgian Bay.

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An Ontario freediver who has been under the ice more than once freed himself from icy waters in Georgian Bay last month using only an axe.

Video taken from both under and above the water shows Egor Nesterenko of Toronto as he uses an axe to slowly chip away at the ice, with two of his friends filming both under the water and above.

The 32-year-old was putting his survival skills to the test and told Global News he did the whole “breakout” with only a “single breath of air.”

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After an amount of time, Nesterenko breaks through the ice with a hole large enough for his head.

READ MORE: Diver explores shipwreck in Ontario lake despite sub-zero temperatures

He then pushes the axe through the hole before giving a smile to the camera.

The dive into icy waters isn’t his first.

Earlier this year, video showed Nesterenko’s dive off the shores of Tobermory, Ont., to explore a shipwreck found at the bottom of Lake Huron in early February.

He told Global News that he didn’t believe there was any danger in his March excursion.

“I don’t think I was in any danger,” Nesterenko said. “There was a safety net. We had another opening nearby so if I needed to pop out, I could.”

In addition, he said he also had his friend nearby under the water to assist if needed.

Nesterenko said freediving is a sport to him but also an enjoyable experience. The term freediving covers various aquatic activities that share the practice of breath-hold diving, according to Aquarius Scuba Diving Centre.

Freediving safely is about staying calm and relaxed, Nesterenko said, so you “don’t burn through the oxygen too quickly.”

READ MORE: Archaeologists discover 400-year-old shipwreck off coast of Portugal

Nesterenko said he and his friends are not trying to put a bad light on what they do, nor are they encouraging others to dive without proper training.

“You do need experience and learn how to freedive,” he said. “It’s all very calculated.”

Asked if he plans to go dive again, he said he and his friends often dive in the Tobermory and Georgian Bay areas every few weeks.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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