Chile’s ‘ice mermaid’ breaks new world record by swimming in Antarctic waters without a wetsuit

Chile’s ‘ice mermaid’ breaks new world record by swimming in Antarctic waters without a wetsuit

Baku, February 11, AZERTAC

Chilean swimmer Barbara Hernandez, who is also known as the “ice mermaid”, has broken a new world record by swimming 1.5 miles in Antarctic waters without a wetsuit, according to the Indian Express.

The 37-year-old swimmer, who holds several world records, accomplished the feat in more than 45 minutes. She endured the gruelling task of swimming in waters measuring 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit (about 2 degrees Celsius) to raise awareness about the climate crisis and its impact on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, Reuters reported.

The video showing her plunging into the icy waters in a normal bathing suit was shared by Now This on Twitter. Braving the extreme cold temperature, she is seen swimming without a neoprene suit or protective grease.

She says in Spanish, “Swimming in Antarctica was my dream for more than 10 years. To be able to finally access these waters, with everything that reaching the literal end of the world means, not only with the desire to complete this sports milestone that we’re already validating internationally as the longest swim ever in the Antarctic territory, in these 2 degree Celsius waters for more than 45 minutes. It’s the longest distance with 2.5 km.”

Hernandez added that she toiled three years to prepare for the task. She had hypothermia and a body temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.

A report by Euro news said Hernandez, also a psychologist, received an award from the Guinness World Records in June last year for swimming one nautical mile through Drake Passage, an area between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans at Cabo de Hornos in southern Chile. She broke the record for the ‘fastest mile swim of Drake Passage’ in just 15 minutes and three seconds.


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