Don’t Stop Swimming Now, Great White Shark In Our Midst
Don’t Stop Swimming Now, Great White Shark In Our MidstCourtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
In one of the few documented cases where sharks encountered professional marathon swimmers, Canadian Olympian George Park gives a first-person account of the 14.1-mile race from Narragansett, Rhode Island to Block Island in 1968.
“The world’s greatest marathon!
This is the way they advertised this 14.1-mile race because all the top marathon swimmers in the world were there.
The race started from the beach. As we came out of the harbour through a gap in the breakwall, [American] Billy Barton was on my left and [Canadian] Rejean LaCoursiere on the right, I noticed some thing dark in the water just below us. I asked Billy, “Is that a shark?” Billy said, “It’s a shark”.
We picked up our pace and the three of us moved to the front of the pack very quickly. Billy moved away from me to the left and Rejean (Johnny) moved to the right and I swam straight ahead. The shark followed me.
After about twenty minutes, the boat that was with me put up a sign it said “Don’t Panic there is a shark 200 yards behind you. Then they wrote, “Don’t stop or change your pace”. Then they said, “The coast guard is tracking it and if it attacks…“.
…for the harrowing ending, visit Park’s website here.
Copyright © 2008 – 2012 by World Open Water Swimming Association
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