The Relationship between Alessia Zecchini and Stephen Keenan

By Louie Fecou
Published: July 24, 2023 (Last updated: August 22, 2023)
The Relationship between Alessia Zecchini and Stephen Keenan

We discuss the 2023 Netflix documentary The Deepest Breath and explore the relationship between Alessia Zecchini and Stephen Keenan.

The 2023 Netflix documentary The Deepest Breath follows the tragic story of Stephen Keenan, a thrill-seeking free diver who started his own business in Egypt following his dream to become a safety diver for others.

Chance would bring Stephen and Alessia Zecchini together, and their love of the extreme sport would lead them to form a bond together.

Tragedy would strike the couple, though, and this haunting documentary highlights the events that would lead up to the tragic dive that would leave the couple torn apart forever.

Wherever there is an extreme sport, there is a risk, and those who take part are always aware of the dangers involved, but the drive and quest to push their boundaries seems to be a force within the participants that is hard for others to understand.

Laura McGann has produced this heartbreaking, tragic, but often beautiful film that explores the sport and, in particular, Alessia and Stephen’s relationship.

Viewers have been startled by the film, and it’s an honest and earnest depiction of the events that unfolded.

This short companion piece to the film will explore the relationship between Alessia Zecchini and Stephen Keenan.

What was the relationship between Alessia Zecchini and Stephen Keenan?

Alessia and Stephen would meet and fall in love through their love of the sport of freediving. Italian Alessia, born in 1992, had been diving since she was a young teenager and loved the sport, pushing herself from an early age to become better and better.

She would excel in the field, winning multiple awards and becoming a professional in the field of free diving.

Irishman Stephen, born in 1977, found a love of the sport while holidaying in Dahab, Egypt, and loved it so much that he would eventually find himself in a position to return to that destination and open his own business as a safety diver for people wanting to take part.

Although Stephen was more than ten years older than Alessia, she had more diving experience than her partner.

How did Stephen Keenan and Alessia Zecchini meet?

The two met when Alessia attended Stephen’s School of Diving in Dahab, and they became romantically involved with each other. The pair would discover respect and love for each other and become romantically involved.

Stephen was devoted to the unstoppable Alessia, who was driven and ambitious, wanting to accomplish more and more, and Stephen was her partner, and safety diver, who only wanted to keep her safe.

Did Alessia Zecchini continue diving after Stephen Keenan’s death?

On a fateful day in 2017, when Alessia attempted a terrifying dive into a sinkhole known as The Blue Hole, Stephen was on hand as her safety diver, but the day would end in painful circumstances.

Alessia would find herself in trouble due to adverse conditions such as high winds and poor visibility, and Stephen would attempt to guide her to safety. However, on the ascent to the surface, both would suffer from an in-water blackout in the last ten meters of the ascent.

Alessia would be guided to the surface and survive the ordeal, lying on her back till regaining consciousness. Stephen tragically would not survive the ordeal and would not respond to attempts to resuscitate him.

He would die en route to the hospital. Alessia continues today to compete and train in free diving. The documentary features Alessia speaking about the events that occurred. She recently broke another record in a dive that saw her hold her breath for three minutes and twenty-six seconds.

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