Free-diver 'ties knot' underwater

A champion diver and his bride ‘married’ 10m under the sea, with help from Prince Albert of Monaco

A CHAMPION free-diver enacted a marriage with his fiancée underwater off the Monaco coast this weekend, with Prince Albert taking part in the festivities.

The prince, a friend of diver Pierre Frolla, led the bride Mara Demurtas on his arm and joined the couple in the water off Larvotto beach. Though he did not dive down with an oxygen tank to be with them during the actual ceremony he had a mask and snorkel to watch.

Although it looked like one – the ‘wedding’ was not an offical one, and was carried out by a friend who dressed up as a priest.

The couple, who wore a suit and top hat and a white dress, were married on the seabed at a spot which had been decorated with a red carpet and submerged amphoras such as have been dredged up in the past out of Roman wrecks.

The festivities included a welcome by a line-up of 60 divers.

Mr Frolla, 40, is Monégasque and a holder of four world records at free-diving, a sport involving plunging deep into the water while holding the breath which was made famous in the 1988 film The Big Blue.

The couple are to have an official civil ceremony on Saturday at Monaco mairie – after which they and the guests are going canyoning.