Near Death Experience: Jill Heinerth
There are very few people in the world who can describe what it's like to dive in an uncommon and uncharted place, like beneath the Arctic icebergs. One of them was Jill Heinerth, who in 2001, became one of the pioneers to dive beneath an iceberg. Jill Heinerth, born 1965, is a Canadian cave diver and underwater explorer. She is also the first Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and is part of the inaugural class of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. Heinerth was awarded the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration. Out of all her achievements, there is one in particular that she will remember for as long as she still draws breath.
Back in 2001, accompanied by expert diver Paul Heinerth and underwater cinematographer, Wes Skiles, Jill Heinerth captained an expedition to the B-15 Iceberg in Antarctica. Diving underneath an iceberg on its own was something that has never been done by anyone before but to make things even more spine-chilling, the iceberg they were about to dive was the size of Jamaica. Things went as planned until, at one point, they needed to turn around and go back to what was seemed to be the entrance where they entered the cave from, but it was gone. Jill and friends then had to wriggle through a narrow crack in the underwater cave when claustrophobia, an irrational fear of confined spaces, caught hold of her dive partner. The three of them almost thought that death was upon them. A few moments later, a miracle happened and they broke the surface of the iceberg with the help of two more friends who were tasked to wait for them on the surface.
After the incident, Jill revealed that the whole experience was ‘a horror story material’. True enough, her story has since been the talking point of people from around the globe especially to the divers community. Today, Jill lives this horror story and uses it to empower every woman to take on new challenges with confidence.
The story of Jill serves as the ideal illustration of venturing into the unknown. Anything might happen, which is why it's called the unknown, but what do you think ultimately motivated Jill to continue? The desire to go past the limit is what it is. The desire to learn something that has never been learned before. Jill and her companions were ultimately the first to accomplish this. Twelf-X is all about pushing limits and reshaping lives via experiences.