Sixteen hours in the ocean, for a trained swimmerwith an escort boat and all kinds of safety precautions nearby, plenty of water and electrolyte drinks and nutrition at handis a long, grueling session.
When I was training for my Cuba-Florida Swim, yes, the 10- and 12- and 14- hour practice swims were tough enough, depending on the day’s wave action. But when we got into the 15-, 16-, 17-, 18-hour sessions, we well knew we were going to be under duress. The concentration, the perseverance, the physical stamina required for that length of time in the sea is formidable.
But for an untrained swimmer, absolutely alone, immersed in a liquid some 25 degrees under normal body temperature, 16 hours is a survival test many might not pass. A less courageous soul might quickly succumb to the hypothermia, the unknown, the salt exposure, the adrenaline spike when face-to-face with a circling shark.
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