Irish swimmers complete Bering Strait relay

Anne Marie Ward and Nuala Moore part of 27-strong team that battled 96km of icy waters

Two Irish swimmers are on their way home having successfully been part of relay team that swam the famous Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska. Image: Google Maps.

Two Irish swimmers are on their way home having successfully been part of relay team that swam the famous Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska. Image: Google Maps.

 

Two Irish swimmers are on their way home having been part of relay team that successfully swam in near freezing waters across the famous Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska.

Anne Marie Ward (43), from Portnablagh, Co Donegal, and Nuala Moore (42), from Dingle, Co Kerry, were members of the 27-strong international male and female team from 12 countries who completed the gruelling adventure yesterday.

They battled through seas where the water was just five degrees, and it took them three days to cover the 96km trip.

The Bering Strait is regarding as one of most unforgiving of seas and is the setting for the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” series.

Ms Ward posted a message on Facebook saying that they “can’t even begin to process or articulate what we have just been through, (it was ) a tough challenge! “

Ms Moore added: “Safely in Alaska - hard to process that we swam from Russia. It was one hell of a challenge, not one day of calm but made possible by the heart and spirit and belief of the whole team who worked day and night to find a way across. The currents (were) surreal and we have no idea how long it took, or what day it is, all we know is that it was one hell of ride.”

The swim coincided with the 25th anniversary of the “Friendship Flight” when Bering Air, an Alaskan airline, became the first American airline to serve a Soviet location. For just 4 km they were in “international waters”.

Both swimmers have completed a number of long distance extreme swimming events. They were both part of the Round Ireland Swim relay team who swam around the island of Ireland in July 2006, covering 1,350km in 56 days. They are also both Irish Ambassadors for the International Ice Swimming Association.