Thursday, February 17, 2011

Knocked off his boat by a ghost swell a fisherman's 4.7-mile swim hailed as a "miracle!"

An Australian fisherman was knocked off his boat by a ghost swell and was forced to swim 4.7-miles to shore. This "feat" is being hailed as a "miracle" for it took him 8-hours to do the swim in "shark infested" waters no less! YES, shark infested waters and currents too?

There is a test you can do to see if the ocean your swimming or surfing in is shark infested. What you do is you wade into ankle deep water, stick your finger into the ocean and then taste it. If the water is salty, that ocean has sharks in it.

If those hailing this "miracle" want to see a "professional miracle", they should go witness an open water race featuring Thomas Lurz of Germany. For instance: At the European Open Water Championships, Lurz "beasted" the 6.2-mile swim in under 1:54.22 swimming 1.5-miles farther than our "miraculous" fisherman and doing it in less than a quarter-of-the-time.

From the Huffington Post:
As Nine News is reporting, Andrew Wilson was thrown overboard while his boat's engine was still running, leaving the 25-year-old angler stranded without any safety devices. He was then forced to make the 4.7-mile swim to shore through strong currents, and has claimed he bumped into a shark and was knocked against rocks throughout his eight-hour ordeal, which is now being hailed as a miracle.


The article fails to realize that his biggest danger was not sharks but rather it was the drowning risk for most people can't swim very well. Consequently, I think the shark population is also getting a bad rap here. Australia has the reputation of being heavily peppered with sharks yet most people fail to realize that more great white shark attacks happen in California alone than the whole continent of Australia.

For instance: 102 people in the United States have been killed by white sharks since 1952: [Link]

Less than 27 have been killed in Australia by great white sharks since 1876: [Link]

The photo above is the finish line of the Alcatraz Sharkfest Swim taken by Scott Belland all rights reserved!


Anonymous said...

My friend, you do some very good stuff here and attack some real problems. And I understand that your anger helps you make a point about the problems with FINA and USA Swimming. But attacking this fisherman and his story? Really?

I read once that only 2% of the US population could swim 500 yards without stopping.

This is still an impressive feat. Remember, this man's not an athlete who dedicates his entire life to the sport.

Throw daggers when they need to be thrown, but be careful before people start to see you as just a bitter person!

Love the work you're doing though, it's very important for someone in our community to step up and make a stand against USA-S and FINA.

Tony Austin said...

Crap, I messed up. I was meaning to flame the journalist not the poor guy who could barely swim. I felt the journalist missed the whole point and was blaming the sharks for the danger and calling the 4.7 mile swim a miraculous "marathon swim" when the journalist should have addressed the deficits of not being able to swim if you go on a boat. I may rewrite this. Thanks for the catch. :-)

Emma said...

Sharks. There is another kind of shark in Australia that is much more aggressive. Lynne Cox's book explains more about it. I'm too tired to look right now. It is similar to a mako in that it will eat anything.
Great Article.... I wonder how long he slept after that swim!!!

Anonymous said...

Tony, there's a slight misreading of the shark statistics in the U.S.
"Unprovoked attack" is not the same as "victim killed". The link provides stats for 102 unprovoked attacks in the US by Great Whites from 1952-2010. The death total? 12

Meaning, your odds of getting attacked are miniscule (102 in the past 60 years), and the odds of surviving a great white attack (90 out of 102) are about 90%!