The World's First Island Circumnatation

The World’s First Island Circumnatation

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

In early July 1976, Dr. Sean O’Connell, a mathematics lecturer at Bermuda College and a member of the 24-hour Club, attempted the first recorded attempt at swimming around the island of Bermuda.

Seven weeks later, Dr. O’Connell made a second attempt on August 21st. After 45 miles (72.4 km) later, he completed the first circumnatation around Bermuda.

The swim was not a circumnavigation,” Dr. O’Connell explains of his 43 hour 27 minute swim. “Navis means boat in Latin. Natare means swim. I did not ‘sail around the island’, but rather ‘swam around’, so my exploit was a ‘circumnatation’ of Bermuda. The Guinness Book of World Records 1978 UK edition changed its category designation of such events from circumnavigation to island circumnatation at my suggestion.”

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones