About the Underwater Ocean Video

This is freediving video footage taken in the western islands of Thailand by Red Basil to show you the diverse marine life that exists in the ocean around Thailand. Most of the film is from the Koh Surin Islands. The large wooden model boat on display in the restaurant is also from this same area as made by the Morgan Tribal people of Thailand. Unfortunately, the use of long freediving fins is currently illegal in the Surin Islands. A small portion of the video takes place in the Similan Islands of Thailand, which you can notice the water is bluer than in the Surin Islands, but has much less healthy and diverse coral. Strangely however, the possession of dive knives is illegal in the Similan Islands, but freediving fins are allowed. If a dive knife was present and used in the Koh Surin islands, this could have prevented the death of a freediver in the Surin Islands, which ended in the result of the ban of freediving fins. When training for professional freediving in the United States, a dive knife is essential for every freediver. In the video, each scene is presented in the order that it was seen or recorded. The dive camera used was by Paralenz.

About Freediving

You may have heard of scuba diving, so what is freediving, right? A scuba diver uses a tank of air, weights, and a BCD to stay neutrally buoyant at various depths. A freediver uses a weight belt and one breath of air from the water surface to explore the underwater world. There are dangers about both scuba diving and freediving, but the dangers can be more extreme in serious freediving, even for professionally certified freedivers.

A professional freediver never hyperventilates before a dive, but quite opposite. The body generates the urge to breath when the lungs are full of excess CO2, which causes the diaphragm and other muscles such as in the throat to contract, making the experience uncomfortable, but has essential purposes such as moving more unused oxygen around to be consumed from the lungs and of course, reminding the person they need to breath. The freediver uses the natural urge to breath system as a clock to know that the time has come to begin the ascension to resurface. This bodily clock is important, because our bodies use up oxygen to move, kick and swim, digest food, and even think. The more energy is spent in any of these categories, the quicker oxygen is used up, which will build up CO2 levels faster, triggering the urge to breath.

You may recognize when the videographer’s breath was being depleted by noticing the film quality become more shaky; while the times they were more relaxed and had plenty of air, the video is more stable. The biggest factor that affected this was the conditions of the water on the surface. The more stormy or choppy the surface water, the more difficult to relax for a more efficient breath-up to trigger the mammalian dive reflex for a longer underwater breath-hold. There are a few scenes you may notice the extreme conditions on the water surface from below.

The freediver uses extra-long specialized fins, a low-air-volume dive mask, enough weight to become neutrally buoyant (usually at 30-feet), a thick enough wetsuit to maintain body temperature even in warmer water conditions like Thailand, and a proper scientific breath-up, all for the sake of preserving energy or prevent the consumption of oxygen to be able to hold their breath for as long as possible under water to maximize their underwater dive time.

The freediving experience forces relaxation. If the freediver panics, their brain consumes oxygen fast, which can result in the death of the freediver if they are too far down from the surface. There are many factors to consider, such as the pressure of the water at various depths. For safety and a better experience, always dive with a buddy, never push limits, avoid danger, and begin your freediving experience with a certified freediving instructor. Never practice breath-holds alone and without a professional.

Most freediving blackouts occur within zero to 30 feet of water, because below 30 feet, the pressure of the oxygen in the brain condenses the oxygen. All these things and the science behind freediving can be learned in a professional freediving course by a certified instructor.

About Red Basil Management’s Stance on Marine Preservation

There are huge debates throughout the world about marine animal behaviors, half from marine biologists and the other half from amateur marine biologists and political scientists. We have found that not even all marine biologists can be credible sources. We tend to follow the world’s most renowned marine biologists whose research leans more on scientific results than emotional theories. Even then, we still do not claim someone to be 100% accurate in their statements. Therefore, we simply do the best we can with the best information we can collect, and in a perfect world, we wish and should expect for governments to behave in the same manner regarding marine life preservation.

Yes, we can hold our breath for many minutes. However, we love both to freedive and scuba dive, which we hold certifications for both. We love swimming and diving with all sea creatures: dolphins, sharks, rays, turtles, seals, and more. The experience can be magical and symbiotic. Except for instances of taking for sources of survival food as appropriate, sparingly, with a grateful heart, in prudence, etc., we believe people should respect marine life. Examples include to not proactively touch marine life, to not make marine life feel cornered or threatened, to respect the space of a marine life parent and child bond, and any other scientific observation about marine animal behaviors (a commonsense example: never approach a whale that is blowing foaming bubbles).

We find that most marine life is curious about us, so they like to approach people to investigate the funny-looking aliens swimming in the water. Beyond this theory, the magical and respectful behavior towards humans by marine animals is nothing short from miraculous.

Yes, there are also some other factors in some areas that influence animal and human interactions. In some high-tourist areas, a marine animal may approach you in hopes you have a treat for them. Just like creatures on land, there is some marine life that will avoid all people and other marine life altogether. Yet, we also find that some marine life prefer to constantly be around humans, which can even vary among marine species. Some large sharks run away from people, but some large sharks of the same type of shark species will stay close to a person like a dog to an owner, and even mimic your behavior in the water. This same behavior has been observed by all large marine life. We have encountered such past friendships with large sharks, large turtles, and dolphins.

When ocean creatures attack, there is always a reason. They can be confused by large objects such as a surfboard or a boat. They can feel threatened by a boat’s propeller. The animal could have visual problems. There could be concerns about feeding patterns that have been altered due to issues with factors like negligent tour companies. Generally, when a bite occurs, the largest factor is the person proactively touching the marine animal, especially one with a more aggressive or high-anxiety personality. While some large marine animals actually like the personal attention from humans, we believe that humans initiating touch is still not a good practice and should be avoided. Yet, you may find that some of these sea creatures like to approach some humans for an experience of both curious and affectionate touch. We have personally found this behavior among manta rays, dolphins, turtles, sharks, and sting rays. Our stance on this is that God blessed us to enjoy the presence of these magnificent creatures and has commanded us to be respectful and responsible.

We are saddened by extreme governmental measures taken in certain locations in the United States that require serious distancing between certain marine life and human interactions. The regulations were established from the unscientific and radically-emotional reactions of decision committees towards the few people who abused their privileges with marine animals who by genuinely harassing them (some of the cases can also be debated whether the behavior was genuine harassment or not). While such measures are reasonably too extreme, we are not going to discuss our definitions here about what is more appropriate for such governmental authorities, but our stance is that we are no more aliens to this planet than the marine life, and to ban humans completely from marine life interactions without simply establishing more reasonable rules is morally wrong. Because one backwards child in a group of 100,000 children ate their pizza backwards, children are no longer allowed to eat pizza.

As a business, our purpose is not to impose on a government’s political decisions, whether right or mislead, but to establish the fact that we believe marine life is sacred and a gift from God, and should be experienced with gratitude, humility, respect, and without coercion to the animals. However, just like land and air animals, we also believe some governments possess too much inappropriate control over the extermination of some marine life without the appropriate and proper scientific evidences. Ultimately, God will judge such people impartially according to their situations and heart’s desires.