CROFT, Robert

USA (1934- )

Last updated: April 11, 2017 at 2:10 am

Former U.S. Navy diver and instructor; first person to freedive beyond 200 ft (61 m), reaching the depth of 212 feet (64 m) in 1967; reached record depth of 240 ft (73 m) in 1968; research subject for the U.S. Navy to determine if humans could dive beyond 300 ft (90 ft) without experiencing thoracic squeeze; credited with inventing “air/lung packing” a technique used by freedivers to increase the volume of air in the lungs prior to descent; a.k.a. The Father of American Freediving.

NOGI Award Bio
Bob began diving in the mid 50’s in the Florida Keys. The only SCUBA training available came from watching Lloyd Bridges “Sea Hunt” series on early TV. His first formal training came in in a navy SCUBA school in 1962. From there Bob moved to the “Escape Training Tank” at the Submarine School in Groton/New London Conn. It was there that Bob taught Submarine Escape and Navy SCUBA. During six years there Bob became an almost full time RESEARCH SUBJECT! He was physically instrumental in numerous research reports that directly impacted the Navy and civilian diving world! Most notable was the discovery that, contrary to the NAVY DIVING MANUAL, the “human” diving mammal could breath hold dive safely beyond 300 feet. During a succession of chamber and open sea breath hold dives the theory of free diving man and free diving mammal was comparable! During his six years as a research subject Bob set 3 world records proving that a freediving mammal named man is more at home in the sea than was ever believed! In addition to training sub escape and navy scuba, Bob went on to become SCUBA certified by NAUI & PADI and then as an instructor for both. This was followed by working to train SCUBA instructors for both certifying agencies. He retired from the US Navy in 1974 after 23 years and retired from civilian employment in 2000. Bob resides in Pennsylvania with Edna, his wife of 60 years.

Honours and Awards:

NOGI Award (Sports & Education, 2016)


Bob Croft

Comments are moderated: (1) Stay on topic (2) Be respectful (3) Refrain from vulgarity and abusive language (4) Do not publish materials that violate copyright. OFFENDING COMMENTS WILL BE DELETED.