Serge Gellé and Andrianarison Jimmy Laitsara (Madagascar) – World Open Water Swimming Association

Serge Gellé and Andrianarison Jimmy Laitsara survived a helicopter crash in the Indian Ocean approximately 20 km off the coast of Madagascar while on a rescue mission to save others. They swam 12 hours to shore to save themselves.


Madagascar Secretary of State for Police Serge Gellé and Chief Warrant Officer Andrianarison Jimmy Laitsara were flying above the Indian Ocean searching for survivors of a shipwreck that sank while transporting 138 people. Instead, they found themselves fighting to survive and swimming to shore overnight in the dark from 7:30 pm to 7:30 am.

Why they were nominated

For serving on a rescue mission to help the survivors of a shipwreck, they unexpectedly and humbly captured the hearts and minds of a nation by surviving a harrowing accident and fighting to stay alive. They were separated and swam different routes to shore.




Performance of the Year


Serge Gellé and Andrianarison Jimmy Laitsara

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