Josef Köberl Swims For 38 Minutes In -0.23°C Water at 3,216 Meters

Josef Köberl Swims For 38 Minutes In -0.23°C Water at 3,216 Meters

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

On July 10th, Austrian extreme swimmer Josef Köberl from Vienna attempted to complete a celebrated Ice Mile in -0.23°C water temperature in the 50-meter canal located within the glacial crevasse on Austria’s Hintertux Glacier.

Starting at 10:16 am, Köberl stepped into the turquoise shimmering ice water to complete the 32 lengths of the canal. A doctor and rescue team members provided his safety net. They were on full alert, especially as Köberl had three lengths to go. “I could scream in pain all the time,” said Köberl as he swam to the 1,511-meter mark, just short of the Ice Mile.

After 38 minutes in ice water, Köberl was clearly in danger and retired under his own volition. “My health is more important to me,” he admitted in the high-altitude ice swim.

The fact that Josef was able to make his own decision to stop the swim is very important and very interesting,” said Steven Munatones. “Many people first fail in their first attempts at unprecedented swims. This goes all the way back to Captain Matthew Webb when he failed on his first English Channel attempt in 1875 – and continues to when Lewis Pugh did not succeed in his first Mount Everest Ice Kilometer swim and had to reassess his approach on his North Pole Ice Kilometer swim. Failing on the first attempt is only a precursor to additional attempts – and usually future success. Josef learned from this swim and I am sure he will be back.”

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