Australian endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel claims new distance record

Australian long-distance swimmer Chloe McCardel became the first person to swim almost 80 miles (129 kilometers) unassisted in open water on Wednesday during a 42.5 hour crossing from Eleuthera islands in the Bahamas to Nassau, according to her support team.

Reuters| Last Updated: Oct 22, 2014, 19:13 PM IST
Australian endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel claims new distance record

Miami: Australian long-distance swimmer Chloe McCardel became the first person to swim almost 80 miles (129 kilometers) unassisted in open water on Wednesday during a 42.5 hour crossing from Eleuthera islands in the Bahamas to Nassau, according to her support team.

If ratified, McCardel, 29, will have completed "the longest open-water solo, continuous, unassisted marathon swim in history," the team said in a statement, adding that the swim met international rules set by the Marathon Swimmers Federation.

Wearing only a regulation bathing suit, swimming cap and goggles, McCardel was greeted by supporters in Nassau, along with her husband and support crew.

“I know she will take some time to recover from this massive achievement which she has spent her entire swimming career preparing for. She is elated at successfully setting this record in this way, and is a very, very proud Australian,” her husband, Paul McQueeney, said in a statement.

McCardel has completed 7 solo crossings of the English Channel, including two non-stop double crossings.

In June last year, McCardel was forced to abandon an attempt to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage after she ran into a stinging swarm of jellyfish.

McCardel was pulled from the water 11 hours into that 103 mile marathon swim. A few months later, American 64-year-old long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad successfully completed the Cuba crossing in 53 hours.

Nyad was equipped with a protective silicone mask as well as a body suit to better protect her from box jellyfish that forced her to end a previous attempt.

A team of ocean kayakers and divers accompanied Nyad on her journey dragging an electronic device in the water that emitted a current to repel sharks.