Limbless man begins epic world swim

May 18, 2012, 06:12 IST | Agencies

A Frenchman who lost his limbs in an accident has completed the first part of his challenge to swim between five continents.

Philippe Croizon swam from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia with long-distance swimmer Arnaud Chassery and a local man who joined them to show his support. Croizon, who uses prosthetic limbs with flippers attached, took seven-and-a-half hours to swim the stretch.

Swimming against all odds: Philippe Croizon swam for 7.5 hours. Pic/AFP

He lost his limbs 18 years ago while adjusting a TV aerial on a roof. “It was very, very hard,” he said after the event, which involved crossing 20 km between two points on New Guinea island, which is shared between the two countries.

“It took us an hour-and-a-half more than we expected because we had to swim against the currents,” he said. He said they did not come across any sharks or jellyfish, but were joined by a Papua New Guinean man named Zet Tampa, who swam with them to show solidarity, Croizon tweeted.

The swim had been postponed as Croizon waited for a permit to enter Indonesia. In 1994, he lost his limbs after receiving an electric charge of 20,000 volts which fused him to the metal ladder on which he was standing. In 2010, he became the first limbless man to cross the 34-km Channel between France and England.

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