- Category : Diver
- Type : PSP
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Masks 2
Audrey Mestre (August 11, 1974-October 12, 2002) was a French world record-setting free-diver.
Born in Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis to a family of snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts, at age two she was already swimming and by age thirteen was a seasoned scuba diver. She was still in her teens when her family moved to Mexico City and, fluent in the Spanish language, she eventually studied marine biology at a university in La Paz, Mexico.
Relationship with Francisco "Pipín" Ferreras
In 1996 her interest in underwater sports led to her meeting the renowned free-diver, Francisco "Pipín" Ferreras. They immediately developed a relationship and Mestre soon moved to Miami, Florida to live with Ferreras. There, Audrey Mestre took up serious free-diving and with Ferreras as her instructor she was soon reaching record depths. In 1999 the two diving aficionados married and the following year off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Audrey Mestre broke the female world record by free diving to a depth of 125 meters (410 feet) on a single breath of air. A year later she broke her own record, by descending to 130 meters (427 feet).
On October 4, 2002, with a dive team under her husband's supervision, she made a practice dive off Bayahibe Beach in the Dominican Republic to the unheard of depth of 166 meters (545 feet). After more deep dive practices, eight days later she prepared to attempt a dive to 171 meters but at the bottom a problem developed with the lift balloon as she started her ascent. A dive that should have been no more than three minutes resulted in her remaining underwater for more than eight and a half minutes. By the time her husband was able to bring her unconscious body to the surface it was too late and she was pronounced dead at a hospital on shore.
Her death shocked the diving world, many experts in the field were critical of her husband, alleging he pushed her too far, too fast and for a lack of proper safety procedures during the dive that took her life.
Awards and accolades
Audrey Mestre was cremated, her ashes scattered at sea. In 2002, she was inducted posthumously into the Women Divers Hall of Fame and in August 2004 a book that tells her story was written by her husband and published under the title The Dive: A Story of Love and Obsession (ISBN 0-06-056416-4). Bluegrass artist Lou Wamp released an instrumental tribute entitled Audrey's Last Dive in 2005.
The Dive is a proposed movie based on the story of Ferreras and Mestre. It will be directed by James Cameron and has a tentative 2010 release.