Dolphinman Is Shackled Setting Swimming Record

Dolphinman Is Shackled Setting Swimming Record

Paolo Eros Cerizzi, known in Italy as Dolphinman, is known for a variety of open water exploits.

He has swam 2.5 km across Lake Maggiore in Italy swimming butterfly and swam across the Strait of Messina in Sicily wearing handcuffs.

At the Flowers Sea Swim, Dolphinman set a world record in swimming one mile in hand and leg shackles in 1 hour 14 minutes.

But getting the proper equipment ready was harder than Dolphinman’s record.

The European Union forbids the export of leg irons because they are considered objects of torture. So the Flowers Sea Swim staff had to import the handcuffs and leg irons from America – where they can be more easily obtained and exported. But that was not all. “I wanted the handcuffs and leg irons painted black [to cover the reflection in the tropical sea] to avoid the attraction of venomous marine life,” explained Dolphinman.

Asked why he swims butterfly and with shackles, Dolphinman said, “Each one of us wants to be exceptional in the activities we choose. And I found my specialty in extreme swimming. I can swim butterfly over long distances and I can swim under any conditions.”

To authenticate the world record, a technical surveyor certified the distance, two timekeepers confirmed the time along with independent witnesses while a doctor and a kayaker followed him under the bright, sizzling tropical skies. “I did not try the leg irons before the swim. I didn’t put them on correctly. After a half mile, they started hurt my ankles so I changed the way I swam but this caused cramps. I tried to relax while swimming with the handcuffs and leg irons and the cramps disappeared.”

But Dolphinman‘s record remains.

Photos courtesy of Margaret Jackson.

Copyright © 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones