ENCINITAS, Calif., Feb. 6. SO you think your pool is cold? Try matching this!
US long-distance swimmer Lynne Cox made two swims from a tourist ship in Antarctic Peninsula waters recently. The first was made in Admiralty Bay off King George Island on 13 December and the second in Neko Harbour two days later.
Both swims were made from the landing platform of US-based tour company Quark Expedition's ship 'Orlova' to points on shore. The Admiralty Bay swim was over a distance close to 1,500 meters (a metric mile), the landing being made adjacent to the Polish national program station Arctowski. The swim in Neko Harbour was of 1,900 meters and Cox stepped ashore on the continent near the old Argentinian refuge hut. Cox's stated goal was to become the first person to swim a mile in Antarctic waters.
The first swim, which was a "practice" for her mile attempt, took just over 22 minutes in two-degree centigrade water (36 degrees Fahrenheit), while the mile in Neko Harbour, where the water was 0.5 degrees centigrade (33F), took 25 minutes.
Cox was reported to have "emerged smiling and shivering" from the water at the end of her record-making swim. Her body temperature was measured at 35.2 degrees centigrade (95F) when she stepped ashore, but within an hour it had reportedly risen to normal. It is not known what Cox wore during either of the two swims.
Quark says in a press release that three zodiacs and an emergency physician accompanied the swimmer during both swims, as did a film crew from the US television network, CBS. A story on Cox's swims is scheduled to appear on the network's "60 Minutes" program some time next month.
Cox has previously swum the English Channel, and between the Diomede Islands in the Bering Strait at latitude 66 degrees north.