Cold Water Swimmer Sparks Panic When Becoming 'Disorientated' Under the Ice

A professional athlete caused panic after getting disoriented while swimming underneath ice, seeing his team desperately trying to guide him to safety before his oxygen ran out.

Boris Oravec shared a heart-stopping clip to his Instagram and TikTok accounts showing him working on his cold water swimming.

The 31-year-old is thought to have been swimming in Slovakia when a straight swim from one ice hole to another didn't go as planned.

His Instagram indicates he's a four-time world champion in ball hockey, while it also says he's a cross fit athlete, and a Red Bull ice cross athlete.

In the clip, Oravec, no stranger to the cold, pops on his goggles and takes a deep breath before going underneath the ice.

He confidently performs a butterfly stroke, but when he's just a few meters from the second hole, he veers off course and tries to correct himself.

This throws off his sense of direction as he double-backs, seemingly lost under the ice.

All the while his team can see his misguided attempts through the ice as they desperately bang the icy surface, attempt to point him in the right direction, and in the melee one man falls over. He cracks the ice, while another stamps his foot, seemingly trying to break through to Oravec.

But Oravec took precautions before getting in the water, and had a safety line attached. As it becomes clear he can't find the exit, he traces it back to the original blowhole and pops out from the ice.

Oravec captioned the clip "Slovak nature, winter, cold, swimming, ice, cold water, cold swim, and diving."

He shared his icy exploits to social media on Monday, with his Instagram post amassing more than 300 views, while his TikTok video was watched more than 36,000 times.

But the heart-stopping video was shared across Reddit by user DigitalTerrorism, where it amassed more than 35,000 upvotes since being posted on Monday.

They captioned it: "Man gets disoriented while swimming under the ice."

In the comments, people praised Oravec's seemingly calm demeanor, in comparison to his crew, as Confusedconscious21 said: "He didn't panic. The guys above did."

SlowStudy thought: "Two guys knocking on the ice confuses him."

Jetro30087 wrote: "One day he'll return, and Darwin will be waiting."

Tube_radio pointed out: "'Follow Rope' is easier than 'Find Hole,' and the guy on the other end of the rope is pulling too."

N0V-A42 observed: "My guess is he thought he went far enough and so got confused when the hole wasn't right above him. Great on them for having a rope."

Usernameblankface admitted: "Too anxious to watch the video, sounds like the rope saved [the] dude's life."

While RishnusGreenTruck added: "I would think the rope is a better tool, lets them pull him back at any time, even if he passed out.

"If they had broken the ice the rest of them could have fallen in the water and compounded the issue."

The Red Bull ice cross' website indicates Oravec has taken part in various contests since the Wagrain-Kleinarl 2015/16 event, with the latest the 2020/2021 Invitational World Final.

Explaining more about the sport, the website says: "In Ice Cross, fearless skaters hurtle down courses of up to 700 meters in length, filled with obstacles such as bumps, turns, hairpins and waves. The ice can be natural, in ski resorts, or artificial, at city center locations. Riders go 4-at-a-time, at speeds of up to 80 km/h."

Newsweek reached out to Oravec for comment.

File photo of cold water swimmer.
File photo of cold water swimmer. Athlete Boris Oravec shared a video where he becomes lost underneath the ice. Mikhail Blavatskiy/Getty Images