Limbless Frenchman swims to link five continents

French swimmer Philippe Croizon, who had his arms and legs amputated 16 years ago, swam between the U.S. island of Little Diomede and his Russian "namesake" Big Diomede. Using the fins attached to his prosthetic limbs, he crossed the icy waters of the Bering Strait.

During the last three months Croizon has swum about 20 kilometers from Papua New Guinea to Indonesia, linking Oceania and Asia. He crossed the Red Sea, having thus connected Africa and Asia, as well as the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Europe from Africa, said. The limbless man was swimming  for seven and a half hours. The French swimmer was accompanied by his brave countryman Arnaud Chassery, a long-distance swimmer, and Zet Tampa, a native of Papua New Guinea.

His amputations were required due to a severe electric shock accident which occurred in March 1994. At his home in Saint-Rémy-sur-Creuse, Vienne, while standing on a metal ladder on the roof to work on a television antenna, Croizon received a severe electric shock from a high-voltage power line which earthed (grounded) through the ladder, to which he became adhered. Twenty minutes passed before a neighbour could raise the alarm. He was hospitalized in Tours, where doctors removed his left arm above the elbow, his right arm below the elbow, then his right leg above the knee.

Five years ago, the man learned to swim, using short prosthetic legs, fins, snorkel and what was left of his arms for balance. Croizon's swimming technique is unique - no one else in the world swims like him.

In September 2010, the Frenchman swam across the English Channel. Without realizing it, he changed his status of a disabled citizen for a record-holding athlete.

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