American becomes first woman ever to swim the Atlantic Ocean

February 9th, 2009 - 1:26 pm ICT by ANI  


London, Feb 9 (ANI): In a new record, an American aged 56 has become the first woman to swim the Atlantic Ocean, after propelling herself across thousands of miles of ocean while inside a 6 metre by 4 metre cage to protect her from sharks.

According to a report in the Guardian, the woman in question is Jennifer Figge, an endurance athlete from Aspen, Colorado.

She took nearly a month to make the crossing from the Cape Verde Islands to Trinidad, propelling herself across 2,000 miles of ocean.

But, her business manager admitted that some days, the seas were so stormy that Figge did not even get into the water, remaining aboard the catamaran which accompanied her epic journey.

She swam 19 of 24 days, said David Higden. It turned from an endurance swim into an extreme adventure swim. She didnt get into the water as much as she wanted, because the waves were so high. The weather was so extreme the crew had trouble seeing her in the water, he added.

Figge did not respond to requests for comment. In her defence, Higden said she had never set out to swim the entire distance.

Nobody could swim across the Atlantic. Its physically impossible. It would take literally years, he said.

The reply left unanswered exactly how many nautical miles Figge had logged during her crossing.

A week after she began, Higden announced on her Facebook page that storms forced her to change course.

She landed at Trinidad, 1,000 miles from her planned destination, the Bahamas, and told the Associated Press (AP) on arrival, I wouldnt have had it any other way.

According to Figge, she was inspired to perform this feat by a turbulent trans-Atlantic flight and by Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the Channel in 1926.

For safety, Figge was to make the journey in the confines of a steel and kevlar cage hooked to the rear of a catamaran, Carried Away, with a crew of Nasa and Boeing engineers, a doctor, and a diver. An electro-magnetic device in the cage was meant to repel predators.

In the event, there were no sharks, though among the marine life, she did see a pod of pilot whales, turtles, dolphins, and Portuguese men-of-war. (ANI)

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