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Monday, December 31, 2012

Don't Stop Swimming Now, Great White Shark In Our Midst

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In one of the few documented cases where sharks encountered professional marathon swimmers, Canadian Olympian George Park gives a first-person account of the 14.1-mile race from Narragansett, Rhode Island to Block Island in 1968.

"The world's greatest marathon!

This is the way they advertised this 14.1-mile race because all the top marathon swimmers in the world were there.

The race started from the beach. As we came out of the harbour through a gap in the breakwall, [American] Billy Barton was on my left and [Canadian] Rejean LaCoursiere on the right, I noticed some thing dark in the water just below us. I asked Billy, "Is that a shark?" Billy said, "It's a shark".

We picked up our pace and the three of us moved to the front of the pack very quickly. Billy moved away from me to the left and Rejean (Johnny) moved to the right and I swam straight ahead. The shark followed me.

After about twenty minutes, the boat that was with me put up a sign it said "Don't Panic there is a shark 200 yards behind you. Then they wrote, "Don't stop or change your pace". Then they said, "The coast guard is tracking it and if it attacks...

...for the harrowing ending, visit Park's website here.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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The Open Water Swimming Magazine is the monthly magazine entirely focused on open water swimming heroes and heroines of every age, ability, and background. Published by the World Open Water Swimming Association, the Open Water Swimming Magazine is a free benefit to WOWSA members.

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The Other Shore

The Other Shore follows world record holder and legendary swimmer Diana Nyad as she comes out of a thirty-year retirement to re-attempt an elusive dream: swimming 103 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida without the use of a shark cage. Her past and present collide in her obsession with a feat that nobody has ever accomplished. At the edge of The Devil’s Triangle, tropical storms, sharks, venomous jellyfish, and one of the strongest ocean currents in the world, all prove to be life-threatening realities. Timothy Wheeler’s documentary brings Diana Nyad’s extraordinary adventure to life as Diana sets out to prove that will and determination are all you need to make the unimaginable possible.

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