October 22, 2003 France

(Written by Robert Margaillan) 




Photo: Pipin on his decent towards the depths of the sea during his freediving world record this past October 12th. One diver moved by this special dive because it was dedicated to the world champion Audrey Mestre, his late wife, who passed away a year ago.


The Cuban born Pipin Ferreras has just become the world record champion in the category of “No Limits” for the love of his deceased wife Audrey Mestre and also for the cameras of James Cameron.


     Pipin: “I would like to stay forever in the depths of the Pacific”


Sunday October 12, 2003, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico. The Cuban born Francisco Ferreras better known as Pipin, has just accomplished the world record title in freediving in the category of “No Limits”, reaching a depth of –170 meters. A dive recorded for James Cameron and dedicated to Audrey Mestre, his wife who passed away one year go, when she attempted to do the same depth. Pipin comments on his journey and the director of Titanic, James Cameron explains his fascination for Francisco and Audrey's story.

 “I lay in the surface of the sea, in search of the concentration that is necessary to retreat from the exterior world. To reach -170 meters and confront the pressure of those great depths, I have to find my true self in the depths of my inner being in order to feel and control what happens to me, almost as if a camera were records my inner self. I see my blood circulating in me, into my heart and out again. I see my heart as it contracts and expands. I have to control its impulses. But today I cannot concentrate. I am thinking of Audrey.

Cabo San Lucas is the spot in which we first met. It’s been 7 years. I feel Audrey’s presence in my soul. As I get up on the sled, I am not ready. I calmly breathe. I have five minutes to prepare. I think of only Audrey. I don’t see the people around me. I free my sled. The weight of 75Kg. drags me towards the depths of the sea.

-10, -20, -30 meters, I don’t feel not even the cold nor the pressure. I feel a great joy to be at last totally alone with Audrey. I rejoice in this privileged moment of being far away from everyone. I don’t control anything. Audrey is my pilot on this decent. I only have to control the pressure of the water on my eardrums and equalize.

-80 meter, I let the water enter my sinuses in order to compensate the water for the pressure in my eardrums that does not stop increasing.

-150 meters, I begin to put air in the balloon to break. The sled stops. I am at –170 meters down. I see the lights from the submarines of James Cameron. Automatically, I inflate and release the balloon. My eyes remain close and Audrey’s presence is stronger. The hardest part is yet to come; I have to concentrate of my ascent towards the surface.

I detach and let myself be taken away by the balloon. I rise the equivalent of the height of a 60 story tall building at a velocity of 4 meters per second. I cannot describe that strong sensations that I feel. It is almost like being born a second time. The only person who knew what I felt at this moment was Audrey. We discussed it on many occasions. The feelings we had at those extreme depths.  This time I left specific instructions with my crew in case I should not make it. I want to stay in the depths of the Pacific, where we met for the first time.

-12 meters, the surface is near, I let go of the balloon. Tata, my closest friend is here to accompany me during my last few meters. I reach the surface. It is like I have just awaken. I am alone.”

Very affected by his loneliness, although he accomplished this record, Pipin does not show any signs of happiness. Around him, the people are moved. The tears flow from those who are close. Everyone misses the presence of the little mermaid from Palavas les Flots. And we still are not able, one year later, to accept this. Pipin receives the congrats from the people around him, from James Cameron and the Mexican actress Salma Hayek. She throws a bouquet of flowers to the sea in a symbolic gesture and she immediately tries to hold back her emotions.


James Cameron: “The history of Audrey and Pipin has everything that moves me”


 “I was moved by the history of Audrey and Pipin", comments James Cameron. I have to absolutely make this movie about their lives. That is why I came today to record this dive filled with emotions. I discovered the history of Audrey and Pipin this past June. I read an article in a sports magazine about their lives, in the pages of Sports Illustrated, and it impacted me. I immediately read the article. It was magnificent and emotional. I immediately tried to get in contact with Pipin. Within this story, there are many things that I love and have a great passion for: the sea, the adaptation of humans living on the edge of extremes, and the accomplishment of a challenge for a lonely man. I love the misterious side of the story, two human beings completely different, that have lived a fusional love. And also the fact that Pipin makes many decisions on instinct. I do the same when I'm filming. I like challenges. If I knew how to make a movie with anticipation, I would not make it. I have had greater pleasure making documentaries than movies. Each time, we have to develop, construct newer devices, use robots to record certain levels. Everything that is recorded under the sea is very complicated. This movie shall be a new challenge, emotionally and technically. And I want to absolutely make it” concludes the American director.


Photo: The history emotionally made by human challenge and love shared between Pipin and Audrey Mestre moved the director of Titanic, James Cameron. With his camera he recorded the preparation of the diver and his virtual descent into the abyss. The Mexican native actress, Salma Hayek assisted in the event. She will play the role of Audrey Mestre on the big screen.