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Patrick Vandam Dies While Freediving

Former competitive eater Patrick Vandam has died while practicing for a freediving competition in Utah, according to the competitive eating blog, The competitive eating community, which liked and respected Vandam, has expressed deep sadness over the accident.

Vandam, who competed in numerous MLE events during several seasons, reportedly was practicing for the US National Freediving Championship in Kona, Hawaii, to be held on April 22. According to a note from Gerald Vandam, Patrick's father, which appeared on, Vandam had achieved durations of 6 minutes and 30 seconds before the fatal dive.

Freedivers, on a single breath without the aid of scuba gear, seek to remain underwater for long stretches, or to reach great depths, or cover great distances underwater. Divers have remained under water for longer than 11 minutes.

Major League Eating sent its condolences to the Vandam family and stated: "Patrick was a brilliant young man and we were proud to be associated with him. He was a gentleman and a terrific guy, and we will miss him."