How about a 459 km swim from Mozambique to Madigascar! Wow!

And no sooner do I say that Craig Lenning’s swim from the Farallon Islands to San Francisco was one of the toughest swims in the world (see post below!) does our local Town Councillor (and big LOST Swimming supporter!), Dave Gittings, send me an article he just read about a couple of South African guys who swam 459 km from Mozambique to Madigascar!  It was a “staged swim” (meaning not continuous), but still… a monstrous swim!  Which is why it is always so hard to compare swims like these… either way… an exceptional swim!

Congrats Thane and Jonno!




Smiles as duo complete ‘mad swim’

April 10 2014 at 10:59am

ct swim done WAVE OF EMOTIONS: Thane Williams and Jono Proudfoot celebrate as they land on Madagascan soil after completing a 459km swim from Mozambique. Photo: Vernon Deas

Francesca Villette

 MAD swim duo Thane Williams and Jonno Proudfoot survived sharks and French soldiers to complete their 459km swim for smiles.

Williams and Proudfoot swam from Mozambique to Madagascar to raise R1 million for the Cipla Miles for Smiles initiative. So far, they have managed to raise about half of the money, Williams said.

Operation Smile is a non-profit organisation that provides free repair surgeries to cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. The swim was dubbed “The Mad Swim” because it was one of the longest staged swims in history.

“We were swimming east against a western current (when) enormous swells and the scorching sun made it difficult to gain momentum,” Williams told the Cape Times.

He also said an oceanic whitetip shark had circled them at less than a metre away. “As the shark came closer, my heart started to beat faster. Our natural reaction is to scream and be frightened, but we remained still until the shark eventually swam away,” said Williams.

Fear returned when Williams and Proudfoot were detained on Juan de Nova island, a French military base about 100km off the coast of Madagascar where they were questioned for more than seven hours. They were on their way back home at the time.

Proudfoot said it still felt unreal to have been one of the first people to have successfully completed a swim through the Mozambican Channel.

l Anyone who wishes to donate can visit the website

About LOST Swimmer

I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!
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