19 Aug 2012

Amputee swims from US to Asia

9:08 am on 19 August 2012

A Frenchman who lost all his limbs in an electrocution accident in 1994 has completed a quest to swim between five continents.

Using tailor-made flippers, Philippe Croizon crossed between the United States island of Little Diomede and Great Diomede in Russia, joining Asia and the Americas.

Croizon, 44, swam the 4.3km stretch in the Bering Strait in one hour and 20 minutes on Friday, accompanied by Arnaud Chassery, 35, a long-distance swimmer.

''This was the hardest swim of my life, with a water temperature of four degrees Celsius and strong currents,'' he told AFP after reaching Great Diomede. ''We made it,'' he said.

Croizon was accompanied by long-distance swimmer Arnaud Chassery, 35.

Since May, the pair have swum across three other straits separating the continents.

He previously swam between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to link Oceania with Asia, across the Red Sea from Africa to Asia, and across the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa.

Croizon had all four limbs amputated after an accident on a roof in 1994, when a high-voltage power cable discharged through a metal ladder he was standing on. Another massive electric charge snapped him back to life.