Marathon swimmer to tempt sharks again
(CNS): The international open water swimmer Penny Palfrey has her eyes set on another dangerous shark infested open ocean swim, this time across the Straits of Florida. Palfrey caused controversy in the Cayman Islands last year when sharks were reportedly killed to keep them from attacking her on a record breaking open ocean swim from Little Cayman to Grand Cayman. Palfrey has said she now wants to become the first woman to complete the unassisted 103 mile swim without the aid of a shark cage between Cuba and Florida.
The 49-year-old British-Australian mother and grandmother told the international media this week that she was inspired to take on this marathon swim when she flew from the Cayman Islands to Miami after the record breaking Cayman Islands event.
“I looked down, I could see this beautiful stretch of water, and wow!” she said. Palfrey got home and immediately began researching currents in the strait and its water temperatures, which are similar to those in the Cayman Islands.
As with her Cayman swim, Palfrey will cross the ocean without a wetsuit or a cage and rely on battery-powered shark shields attached to the boat and an accompanying kayak to keep the sharp-toothed predators at bay. During her Cayman swim, however, the sharks still came very close and the swimmer said that local white tips were cruising below her during most of the nighttime leg of her swim.
Although Palfrey's team denied that any sharks were harmed, eye witnesses reported that at least two were killed to prevent an attack on the swimmer
The swim will take around 40-50 hours and currents will dictate where she lands. A 44-foot (13-meter) catamaran will shadow her, carrying a support crew of navigators, kayakers, handlers, medical personnel and observers on hand to verify what would be a record swim. Every half-hour she’ll sip a carbohydrate drink for nourishment.
Palfrey traversed the English Channel twice and also has completed a continuous swim from Gibraltar to Morocco and back.
Last year’s 67-mile Cayman crossing is her personal best, but Palfrey said she’s in good shape and 20 years of marathon swimming has her well-prepared for the 103 miles of the Florida Straits.
“It’s further than I’ve ever swum before,” she said. “I expect it to be very challenging, but I’m very excited about it."
The comments posted do not necessarily reflect the views of CNS or any individual staff member. All comments are posted subject to approval by CNS. Read more
- Marco has a held a few
1 hour 16 min ago
- Dred, you are wrong about
1 hour 20 min ago
- Kurt Tibbetts is synonymous
1 hour 27 min ago
- Nice to note you still
1 hour 28 min ago
- Err....his clue came from the
1 hour 28 min ago
- Uhm they havent even been
1 hour 29 min ago
- What would be the best thing
1 hour 31 min ago
- Just thank God they're not
1 hour 35 min ago
- Huh? Marco's qualifications
1 hour 36 min ago
- I'm sorry but something has
1 hour 38 min ago