Alessia Zechinni And Stephen Keenan In ‘The Deepest Breath,’ Explained: Is Stephen Dead?

Alessia Zechinni, a remarkable Italian freediver, has earned a reputation as a record-breaker in her field, becoming the focal point of the latest Netflix documentary, The Deepest Breath. This gripping film not only delves into the perilous journey of freedivers but also illuminates their passion and dedication to their beloved sport. Within this captivating narrative, Alessia emerges as a shining example of dedication, passion, and fierce competitiveness, proving herself in one of the most treacherous and demanding sports in the world. Her achievements and triumphs stand as a testament to her unyielding spirit and determination in the face of extreme challenges.


The documentary masterfully captures her passion for perfection, showcasing how she fearlessly explores the depths of the ocean, pushing the boundaries of human capability. Alessia’s commitment to her craft and her ability to conquer seemingly insurmountable depths leave viewers in awe and admiration. Her journey from being a young girl discovering her calling to becoming a world-renowned freediving champion is nothing short of extraordinary. As the camera follows her every move, it becomes evident that her passion for freediving is not merely a pastime but a profound calling that drives her to consistently push herself beyond her limits. The film offers a rare glimpse into the lives of these extraordinary athletes, highlighting the risks they undertake and the sacrifices they make to chase their dreams. The Deepest Breath serves as an inspiring tribute to Alessia Zecchini and all the freedivers who embody the very essence of human courage and passion.

Where is Alessia Zechinni Now?

In her childhood, Alessia Zechinni had a true passion for freediving—an irresistible allure that drew her into the ocean’s depths. Born in 1992, she carried an insatiable love for the sport and a fierce longing to explore like a daring mermaid. She was just thirteen years old when she fearlessly pursued her first federal apnea course with A.S.D. “Apnea Blu Mare.” Over the years, Zechinni’s determination led her to Dive Free Roma and Nuoto Belle Arti, where she blossomed into a skilled athlete. By 2012, she had proudly represented Italy as a valued member of the national freediving teams in both indoor and outdoor competitions. Her exceptional talent shone brightly at the World Championships and the European Championships.


With every breath, Alessia left her mark in freediving history, boasting a remarkable collection of numerous medals and accolades at the World Championships. Among her remarkable feats, she astounded the world in August 2019 with a record-breaking dive of -113m in constant weight, a mesmerizing dance with the ocean’s depths. Filmmaker Laura McGann was deeply moved by Alessia’s tale of determination and triumph, resulting in the captivating biographical documentary The Deepest Breath. Through this film, ordinary people are introduced to Alessia’s unrelenting passion for freediving.

However, tragedy struck in Alessia’s life during the time, when she took on the challenging Blue Hole adventure in 2017. Along the way, fate brought her together with her safety diver, Stephen Keenan, who was completely devoted to protecting Alessia during their dangerous journeys. With Stephen by her side, Alessia felt safe and courageous to face whatever came their way. Their shared experiences created a deep bond between Alessia and Stephen, and they faced life-threatening situations together. Alessia trusted Stephen completely to keep her safe. Sadly, during one of their dangerous expeditions, while guiding and protecting Alessia, Stephen heroically sacrificed himself to save her life but couldn’t withstand the force of the water. Alessia was devastated by the loss of Stephen, but her strong spirit refused to give up. She was determined to honor his memory and the love they had for each other. Alessia continued her diving journey, setting new records as a tribute to Stephen, who had been not just her protector but also a cherished companion in her heart.


Her incredible achievements show how resilient and committed Alessia is to carrying on Stephen’s legacy. With each new accomplishment, she remembers her beloved and the unbreakable bond they shared. The world sees her determination to push her limits as she dives fearlessly into the deep waters, always carrying Stephen’s spirit as her guiding force.

Even now, Alessia Zechinni remains a dedicated freediver, fearlessly delving into the ocean’s depths while carrying the memory of her beloved with every dive she takes. Thriving in such perilous waters is no easy feat, but Alessia has proven herself time and again, persisting in this challenging pursuit for her own passion, her love for nature, and in honor of her beloved, Keenan.


What Happened to Stephen Keenan? 

Stephen Keenan, the renowned safety diver hailing from Glasnevin, a town near Dublin, Ireland, became an esteemed figure in the exhilarating world of freediving. He emerged as a key protagonist in the documentary narrative, playing a crucial role in helping his beloved, Alessia, achieve her dreams successfully. Keenan’s captivating journey into the world of freediving began during a leisurely vacation in Dahab, Egypt, back in 2009. The challengers of the freediving world mesmerized Stephen, and therefore he decided to embrace it wholeheartedly and make it the centerpiece of his life. With dedication and passion, Keenan honed his skills as a diver and safety expert over the years, evolving into an exceptional professional in his field.

Throughout his remarkable career, Keenan took on a crucial responsibility—ensuring the safety and well-being of fellow freedivers during their ascents, a vital aspect of the sport. His vast knowledge and commitment to the sport made him an indispensable part of the freediving community. Yet he went beyond the call of duty as a safety diver. In the year 2015, Keenan co-founded a prestigious freediving academy called Dahab Freedivers which is currently situated in Egypt. Through this endeavor, he generously shared his expertise and deep love for the sport, shaping and guiding numerous students on their journey towards becoming skilled freedivers.


As a teacher and mentor, Keenan’s impact reached far beyond his professional duties. He profoundly influenced the lives of those fortunate enough to learn from him, leaving a deep impact on their freediving journeys. His genuine passion and dedication resonated with his students, inspiring them to push their limits and discover the hidden depths of their potential. Stephen Keenan’s legacy as a safety diver, mentor, and co-founder of a renowned freediving academy continues to echo in the hearts of those he touched, forever enriching the freediving community and its aspirants.

Throughout Alessia’s perilous attempt to conquer the daunting Blue Hole challenge, Stephen Keenan remained by her side. Archival footage captured their shared moments of reassuring each other, which strengthened their resolve for the impending journey. Facing the treacherous depths of the ocean, Stephen’s character shone as a dedicated and selfless protector, epitomizing courage and devotion.


As they embarked on the hazardous journey, Stephen was committed to Alessia’s success. However, the force of the water proved formidable, yet Stephen’s relentless protection and guidance carried them forward. Despite the immense challenges, he never wavered in his duty to ensure Alessia’s safety, even at the risk of his own life. Tragically, the forces of nature proved too overwhelming, and Stephen ultimately succumbed to the depths he had ventured into to safeguard Alessia. In a final act of heroism, he assisted her in reaching her goal, making the ultimate sacrifice to fulfill her dream.

Stephen Keenan’s character can be best described as an indomitable force, a steadfast pillar of strength, and a source of support for Alessia throughout her journey. His dedication to her success was unparalleled, and his selflessness touched the hearts of all who witnessed their bond. Alessia’s accomplishments, with Stephen by her side, are a testament to his significant contribution to her triumphs. His legacy lives on as an eternal symbol of courage and unwavering devotion, forever entwined with Alessia’s awe-inspiring achievements.


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Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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