UK & World News
Limbless Frenchman To Swim Around The World
A French swimmer who has no arms or legs has announced plans to swim around the world.
Philippe Croizon and his partner Arnaud Chassery plan to link the world's five continents by swimming across a series of narrow straits that separate them.
Having lost his limbs following an electrical accident, Croizon said he wants to prove he is still up to the challenge.
But he also wants to send a more universal message.
"We are going to symbolically link the five continents, two little people like us, two little men, we're going to be able to build a bridge between the continents," he said.
"That means that we're going to bring them together. Which means no one is very far from each other.
"So even if we have different political opinions, or skin colours, of even with our disabilities, we all live on the same planet. And that's the clear message we want to send."
Croizon has already swum the English Channel, a feat which made him even more determined to take on the new challenge.
"When you've had a high dose of that sort of feeling, it becomes a drug, you can't get over it."
The pair plan to leave France on May 6 for the first leg of their journey, linking Australasia and Asia by swimming from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia.
Over the summer they will then cross the Red Sea (Asia to Africa), the Strait of Gibraltar (Africa to Europe) and the Bering Strait (Asia to America).
They plan to finish in the middle of August, after a brief trip to the White House, having swum a total of over 85km and spending 45 hours in the water.
Aside from the distances involved, there are some serious physical challenges. The currents in the Strait of Gibraltar are notoriously severe and the swimmers will need to reach a speed of 3kmph to overcome them.
They will also experience extreme temperatures with the water in the Dead Sea reaching 26C, whilst that of the Bering Strait is only a little above zero.
When Croizon was 26 he suffered a powerful electrical shock while changing a television aerial, after which all four of his limbs had to be amputated.