SA couple to give travellers FOMO in first-ever freediving reality TV series
South African freediving couple Beth ‘The Mermaid’ Neale and Miles ‘Aquaman’ Cloutier go on an unimaginable underwater journey in the first-ever freediving reality TV series called ’Freediving Diaries’.
The show will consist of 10 episodes.
Viewers will see Beth and Miles’ experiences of freediving on the coasts of Mozambique and the Maldives.
Beth, a four-time South African freediving champion from the KZN South Coast, explained that one of the series’ goals is to promote the many dedicated people and organisations at the forefront of ocean conservation and eco-tourism.
“We also want to show that freediving isn’t just an extreme sport for elite athletes. It’s the fastest-growing water sport and simply requires you to hold your breath underwater. You don’t have to go deep or hold your breath for a long time. We want to inspire people to safely explore the underwater world and understand the incredible need to protect our oceans and the life they hold," she said.
Miles describes freediving as ‘your passport to a whole new world’.
“We enjoy capturing the magic of the underwater world, and our incredible experiences. In the early days of lockdown, we planned an amazing freediving expedition to the unexplored coasts of Mozambique. Some months later, it became a reality, and we have had the opportunity to share this dream with others in the hope that they will be inspired to get out and connect with nature. The impact of lockdown on these local communities has been devastating, and we know this will encourage more eco-tourism," he said.
Beth and Miles also introduced many people to freediving while on their trip.
“Anyone can learn to freedive. We teach beginners and first-timers how to hold their breath for two minutes in a short session. It’s great that anyone can have these experiences," the couple said.
The series was filmed between late November 2020 and mid-February 2021. Beth and Miles were some of the first people to cross the border into Mozambique to begin filming the series when lockdown restrictions eased.
“Just before Christmas, we flew out of South Africa to the Maldives a day or two before travel restrictions were imposed on South Africans. At the end of our trip, we were ‘stranded’ in the Maldives for two weeks, but I think in terms of places to get stuck, we could have done a lot worse," said Beth.
“From the playful and inquisitive wild dolphins of Ponta do Ouro in Mozambique, to the tiger sharks of Fuvahmulah island in the Maldives, we checked a few bucket list species,” added Miles.
They said Fuvahmulah is a world-class dive location and a tiger shark hotspot.
Just before crossing the border into Mozambique, the couple found out they were having a baby.
“I was never a freediver who pushed my limits anyway, but now that I am having a baby, I do shallow, short and easy dives. I am very fit, strong and healthy… and so is my baby," she said.
The series will be shown over two weeks with new episodes daily from Mondays to Fridays at 6pm, with a repeat at 10:30am and 2pm the following day. There will also be an omnibus shown on the weekend.
’Freediving Diaries’ debuts on the PPL°WX - People's Weather (DSTV channel 180 and Openview channel 115) from Monday, May 3 at 6pm.