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Mario Fernandes, an Indian Freediving athlete and passionate wildlife rescuer. In 2022, Mario etched his name deep into the annals of freediving by setting four National records for India. Growing up in Goa with the ocean as his playground, he turned his childhood dream into reality, becoming India's first and only SSI Level 3 Freediving Instructor and AIT (Assistant Instructor Trainer). Beyond freediving, Mario's deep-rooted respect for nature led him to volunteer with wildlife rescue missions and set up Chameleon a wildlife and marine rescue NGO. Known across North Goa for his passion in rescue, he also featured in Animal Planet’s documentary series "Snake Squad."


Mario’s story on "Beneath the Surface" takes the concept of freediving and turns it into a powerful metaphor for breaking life's barriers. This riveting TEDx Talk traces a journey from Calangute's shorelines to the depths of the ocean, revealing how diving into the unknown mirrors shattering personal and societal limitations. It’s a story of pursuing passions against all odds, elevating freediving in India to the global stage. As each dive illustrates human resilience, the narrative calls for a harmonious relationship with the marine ecosystem, advocating sustainability. This talk celebrates the blend of courage, conservation, and conviction (inner strength), showing that true exploration is as much within us as it is in the mysterious world beneath the waves.

Fun facts:

Mario is a great cook and is very passionate about his recipes and his wife has $100 reward on anyone who is able to get this of him. He was a flair bartender at the start of his career. While he is not shy at all in front of animals or sharks he is quite the introvert with people.

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