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Susanne Masters: "The Bering Strait's have appealed to swimmers wanting to swim between continents. America and Asia are tantalisingly close, but very few people attempt the chilly challenge of swimming between them. Lynne Cox swam through icy water and time when she crossed from Little Diomede in the USA to Big Diomede in what was then Soviet Union Russia. Separated by the International Date Line, Little Diomede is also known as Yesterday Isle, and Big Diomede as Tomorrow Island. A key component of her astonishing achievement was navigating bureaucracy for 11 years to secure permission to attempt the crossing; as she did the swim in 1987 when the USA and Russia were fully immersed in the Cold War. Lynne’s swim in 3.3°C water took her 2 hours and 6 minutes. Asked why she attempted such a difficult challenge Lynne said, “ To open the border between the USA and Soviet Union, and promote peace between the two countries.”

In 2013 an international team of 66 winter swimmers spent 6 days and 6 nights swimming the Bering Strait in a relay from Cape Dezhnev in Russia to Cape Prince of Wales in the USA. It was 134 km in water of variable temperature between 2°C to 8°C. Jack Bright, one of the organisers of the swim, commented “It is difficult to cross legally from Russia to the USA in an unorthodox way. This was a unique event, we needed people who were cold, tough, hardy and would not be afraid of tough conditions. "
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