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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Old School Shark Shield

Anytime anyone anywhere spends 133 hours in the ocean, traversing a total of nearly 5,000 km, they are bound to run into all kinds of marine life.

Jennifer Figge knows that, especially when she does her stage swims across the Atlantic Ocean.

So she uses Shark Shields.

"During the last AC4 (Atlantic Crossing 4), I used this old Shark Shield. They don't make it anymore," explains Figge. "I have used them since 1998 and have had at least 4 different models. This particular one (shown on left) was designed to protect fishermen's nets from sharks.

I don't have kayakers beside me with a Shark Shield. It is too difficult for them to stay with me in heavy seas [of the Atlantic Ocean]. I am on my own, but have one Shark Shield attached to my right ankle. For my Pacific crossing, the guys in Australia with Shark Shield, recommended that I have two. They didn't think the one on me was enough protection
." But her crew and Captain Tamas Hamor came up with a clever solution.

"Captain Tamas put the Shark Shield on a life sling in front of me [shown on left].

It has helped tremendously with my direction because there was so much zigzagging in the past [in heavy seas]. I just follow it while a crew member is always on watch. The crew always used to throw bottles to me [on feeding breaks], but now, they just send bottles out on a carabiner out on the line
."

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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