Sheri Daye pulled the wool over my eyes and had me on stage and speechless Sunday afternoon during the Blue Wild Expo when she awarded me the Dimitris Kollias award.

For the past four years, Sheri has asked me to do a presentation on freediving safety at the Blue Wild. This year we decided to changes things up, and I would give a presentation on how to fix common equalization problems. I was excited to present a different topic, especially since I had just launched my online equalizing course, Road Map to Frenzel.

This year she asked me to give a 5-minute presentation on safety at the main stage right before the raffle. I enjoy giving safety-related presentations but was a bit bummed I only had 5 minutes. Giving a presentation on freediving safety is pretty much something I can do in my sleep, so I know I didn’t need more than 5 minutes to organize my thoughts to give a good presentation.

I got busy at the booth and showed up just minutes before I was going to be giving the presentation. Sheri was on stage, and I was off stage running through my presentation in my head. While I was doing that, I was not entirely paying attention to what she was saying; I was waiting for her to call my name so I can come on stage and give the presentation.

About 10 seconds before she called me on stage, I heard something about an award and starting to think something was up. I heard her call my name and saw a huge $2,000 check. I sat off stage staring at her for about 5 seconds before my brain kicked in, and told me to walk on stage. I had several students say it was quite entertaining to watch me try to process what was going on.

So as I’m walking on stage, I understand that I won an award, but I barely understood what it was for. I was busy designing my presentation in my head, why she was talking about the award. When I got on stage, she gave me the check and the glass Dimitris Kollias award, then asked if I had anything to say. I told her its not often that I’m speechless. She chuckled, and then I said, “can I just give my presentation?”

So off I went and delivered my 5 minutes safety presentation, I wanted to give my speech!

Dimitris was a well know spearfisherman and publisher of Deep Magazine. He died in a tragic accident last year. An anonymous donor gave Sheri $10,000 and asked her to give the Dimitris Kollias award and a $2,000 check for the next five years, to someone who helps promotes the sport of freediving and freediving safety.

Hats off to you Sheri, I had zero idea what was going on. Thank you for the honor and your continued support over the years. I will continue to provide reliable information in regards to freediving safety.


For those that are interested, I have a free online course covering important safety information. I discuss how to test if you are overweighted for freediving, I have video footage of an underwater spearfishing blackout that is used to explain the risks of the sport, as well as procedures you can implement to make you safer. The course also includes two articles from Spearing Magazine, how and why to hunt in teams, and how safe freediving practices equals more fish in the cooler.

You can access my two free online courses covering safety and how to take a 20-30% bigger breath @

Dive safe out there it’s not that hard!

Ted Harty – Owner Immersion Freediving

Learn how I went from wearing a suit and tie to a professional freediver  @


Picture credit Justus Martin Photography