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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Shark Caged In The Ocean

Susie Maroney used one nearly 200 km from Cuba to Florida across the Straits of Florida, but Chloë McCardel is going without during her upcoming attempt.

Skip Storch used a shark cage in his Cuba-to-America attempt, but he found it less useful than a jellyfish cage. "The jellyfish got caught inside the cage which definitely did not help things," recalled the marathon swimmer.

"Storch's cage worked rather well being supported by pontoons, a design he inherited (and improved upon) from Chris Green who swam across the Strait of Gibraltar in what he called a wash tub," explained Captain Tim Johnson.

"Fibber McGee was the welder who made the improvements to Chris' shark cage that used inflatable flotation fenders. The improvement Fibber made were the addition of the pontoons whose height was adjustable allowing the cage to drop into the water or raised for towing. Ben Huggard also did a swim in these waters.

Susie Maroney's cage was similar to Skip's, but only larger. It was fixed to create a draft just behind the leading edge with plexiglas so it wouldn't show that it literally could suck her along at 2 knots while she was eating and treading water during her first swim. Subsequent swims found a different cage directly behind and attached to the boat so she drafted off the boat. Fidel Castro is said to have participated in that cage's design

Photos courtesy of Captain Tim Johnson of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming

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