"I chose him as the subject of my testing because he was the world champion free diver," Mestre told Ritter in an interview that aired in March on 20/20 Downtown. She fell in love with him in "about two days," she said.
As a posthumous honor, the International Association of Free Divers, a Miami-based organization that monitored Mestre's dive, will recognize her 558-foot unofficial practice attempt on Wednesday as the new world record.
A champion diver himself, Ferreras said he will not be deterred from diving again — at least one more time. He is planning to do a dive in Mestre's memory next year.
"I'm not going to break her record," he told Ritter. "I'm going to reach the same depth she reached in training… After that dive, I'm going to retire."