Jacques Mayol (1927 - December 22, 2001) was the holder of many world records in free diving.
Born in Shanghai, China, he was the first free diver to descend to 100 meters (330 feet) (November 23, 1976), and he managed to descend to 105 meters when he was 56 years old. During the scientific research phase of his career, he tried to answer the question of whether or not man had a hidden aquatic potential that could be evoked by rigorous physiological and psychological training. The free diving record, which is now 162 meters, proves his hypothesis.
The film The Big Blue, directed by Luc Besson in 1988, was inspired by his life story (and the life story of the Italian diver Enzo Maiorca); Mayol was one of the screenwriters.
On December 22, 2001, Mayol committed suicide in Elba, Italy. His ashes were spread over the Tuscany coast.