William Winram

A life on, in and around the water has always been a part of William’s heritage. Born and raised in the Canadian Pacific Northwest in the early 1960s, he learned to freedive with his father, a scuba instructor and Search & Rescue diver. By the age of ten, William was diving to twelve meters on a single breath of air. A waterman at heart, William is also an avid big wave surfer and has been fortunate to have many opportunities to swim with dolphins, whales and sharks, the latter being his passion. He discovered free-diving was a competitive sport in 2005, and quickly became part of the elite, earning several medals at World Championships and setting countless Pan-American records in virtually all disciplines.

In 2009, together with underwater photographer and free-diving word-record holder Fred Buyle, he created Ocean Encounters offering trips with breath-hold diving and an environmental focus. They did this together for a few years until they both decided to spend more time into their respectful fields. In 2012, wanting to take his participation to ocean conservation projects to the next level and after two years of looking for funding, William Winram founded The Watermen Project, an NPO dedicated to ocean conservation. In 2013, he was named Ocean Ambassador for the Global Marine and Polar Programme of the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), the oldest and largest conservation/environment membership organization in the world, which brings together states, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, scientists and experts in a unique worldwide partnership.

Today, while William still competes at an international level, he shares his time between underwater filming, teaching specialty seminars on breathing and breath-hold as well as coaching other free-diving competitors.