‘What I learned from freediving with great white sharks’

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Andre Hartman struggles to walk. But every day he dreams of going back to the ocean.

For decades, he made an impressive career out of freediving with great white sharks. The South African daredevil survived numerous encounters with these ocean predators. And when he needed to get closer to the animals, taking the cage out of cage diving was a risk the pioneering diver was willing to take.

But a debilitating stroke three years ago tragically left the ex-fisherman unable to get close to the sharks he came to love. Today, the closest he can get is through the tours of a local shark diving firm, Supreme Sharks, where he provides his expert knowledge for eager tourists.

“It’s been 11 years since I last swam with a shark, and I’ve love to get back into it again at a later stage,” Hartman says. “I’m not ready yet — but I’m sure once I can swim properly, I’ll be there again.”

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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