Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Iraq: Kurdish forces fight to protect Yazidis

Read more

DEBATE

Libya unrest: National Assembly asks for UN help to dissolve militias

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Pakistan's Political Turmoil: Can Imran Khan's PTI Party Depose the Government?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#IceBucketChallenge and hashtag activism

Read more

  • Ex-PM Juppé announces bid for 2017 French presidential race

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Video: Dozens arrested despite smaller protests in Ferguson

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Deadly airstrikes hit Gaza as ceasefire with Israel collapses

    Read more

  • Tentative peace in Ferguson despite second fatal shooting

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Iraqi army clashes with militants in Tikrit after retaking key dam

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

  • ‘Let it be’: Londoners sick of Abbey Road tourists

    Read more

First success in Gulf of Finland swim

Latest update : 2008-07-26

Estonians Bruno Nopponen and Priit Vehm became the first swimmers to cross the Gulf of Finland in19 hours and 13 minutes and 22 hours and 22 minutes. The 55 kilometres of Baltic water measured a fearsome 6-7 degrees Celsius.

A pair of Estonians on Saturday became the first to swim the Gulf of Finland, a frigid 55-kilometre stretch of Baltic Sea once rumoured to be an escape route from the Soviet Union that them took more than 19 hours to traverse.

Swimming instructor Bruno Nopponen and freelance TV camera operator Priit Vehm set off from Finland on Friday as part of a group of six but were the only members to finish.

Nopponen, a former Estonian swimming champion, reached Estonia early on Saturday after more than 19 hours in the water while Vehm made landfall after 22 hours and 22 minutes, according to the group's blog.

Tonu Vaher, who rode on a support boat alongside the swimmers, said even the group's neck-to-ankle wetsuits couldn't block the chill of the famously cold Baltic Sea, whose waters were only 6-7 degrees Celsius (around 43 Fahrenheit).

He said Nopponen, Vehm and their fellow group members were also buffeted by waves when the larger Baltic Sea ferries passed, which temporarily made swimming impossible.

When Estonia was under Soviet control, border guards patrolled the coast with search lights, though no evidence has yet emerged that anyone made it across the gulf to freedom.

Date created : 2008-07-26

COMMENT(S)