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Deborah Andollo (born in Havana in 1967) is a Cuban free-diving athlete who held several world records in different disciplines. Her nicknames "Neptune's Girlfriend", "Queen of the Caribbean" or "Mermaid of the Deep" associate her with the sea and her passion for the environment, as well as a sustainable relationship between man and nature. She is currently married and is mother of a son named Ernesto. She is also engaged in an audiovisual project, teaches diving, and is involved in the ecological movement and environmental education.
She earned a degree in Physical Education at Havana University and started out her athletic career in figure swimming in 1979. In 1992 she switched to breath-held diving, and came to the attention of trainer Omar Oramas. He could see that the petite Cubana, only 5 foot 4 and 57 kilos but with a 6-liter lung capacity, had the potential to reach great depths.
Her first constant ballast dive only took her to 60 meters, but with a duration of 2 minutes, 16 seconds. In 1993, she hit the 80 meter mark in a variable-ballast direct-immersion dive lasting 2 minutes and 50 seconds. A year later, on July 5, 1994, she spent 2 minutes, 24 seconds to get down 61 meters with constant ballast, a women's world record. Then, on May 26, 1995, at Cayo Largo, she freedived to 60 meters without mask or fins, in two minutes and 52 seconds.
There remained to break the mythical 107 meter variable ballast no limits record, set by Angela Bandini in November 1989. On May 16, 1996 at Pasaje Escondido, just off Punta Frances, Andollo mounted her 31 kg ballast sled for her world record attempt. Her descent was linear to a depth of 60 meters, where she slowed to compensate. She reached her base platform in 1 minute and 15 seconds. At 2 minutes, and 15 seconds she was back topside with the new women's world Variable no limits breath-held record of 110 meters, or approximately 357 feet (109 m).
Records set by Andollo include the following.
|110m||No Limits||May 1996||Isla de la Juv., Cuba (CMAS/AIDA)|
|65m||constant ballast||Dec 1997||Isla de la Juv., Cuba (CMAS)|
|95m||variable ballast||Jul 2000||Parghelia, Italy (AIDA)|
- "World records". Apnea Mania.
- DeeperBlue.com interview with Deborah Andollo