|Born||21 June 1931|
|Died||13 November 2016 (aged 85)|
Enzo Maiorca (21 June 1931 – 13 November 2016) was an Italian free diver who held several world freediving records. Born Vincenzo Maiorca on 21 June 1931 in Syracuse, Sicily, he died on 13 November 2016 in the same city.
In 1977, Maiorca was initiated into Scottish Rite Freemasonry at the "Archimede di Siracusa" Lodge in Italy. With the agreement of the Grand Orient of Italy lodge, this element of his biography was publicly revealed in 2017.
Maiorca learned to swim at age 4 and soon began to dive, although expressing a great fear of the sea. In 1956 a friend showed him an article about a new depth record of 41 meters set by spearfishing champions Ennio Falco and Alberto Novelli. Maiorca was led by the article to begin competing in order to achieve the title of the "man who reaches the deepest." He achieved this in 1960, when he reached 45 metres to beat Brazilian Americo Santarelli. That same year, however, Santarelli reclaimed the title by reaching 46 metres, which Maiorca soon surpassed at 49 metres.
In 1967 Maiorca ceased spearfishing, while still competing in freediving. He explained in an interview why he abandoned spearfishing:
On 22 September 1974, in the Bay of Ieranto (or 'Jeranto') at the western end of the Gulf of Salerno, Maiorca attempted to establish a new world record for freediving, aiming for 90 metres. The event was televised live, for the first time in the history of RAI (the Italian national broadcaster). Just 6 metres into his dive, Maiorca bumped into Enzo Bottesini, an expert scuba instructor, and upon resurfacing he let out a string of strong expletives, many of which were clearly audible to the television audience. His outburst led to a television ban for many years, and led to his retirement from competition for more than a decade.
In 1988, Maiorca returned to free diving and set his final record of 101 metres.
From 1994 to 1996, Maiorca was elected to the Senate for the Alleanza Nazionale party. Maiorca also appeared on Lineablu, a RAI broadcast news series, from 2000 to 2002. The character Enzo Molinari, portrayed by Jean Reno, in the 1988 Luc Besson film The Big Blue was based on Maiorca.
Maiorca was the author of several books:
Vegetariano dichiarato, grande amante degli acquatici e difensore dei mari