Triple Break Grows To Worldwide Prison Island Swims

Triple Break Grows To Worldwide Prison Island Swims

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

What started out as a cool little idea by Ned Denison as a quirky off-shoot of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming has steadily grown globally.

Denison’s Triple Break or the Triple Crown of Prison Island Swims started out as 3 open water swims, but now has grown to swims of various distances between islands and their nearby mainland locations throughout Africa, Australia, the Americas, and Europe.

The sites of the Triple Break are now 21st century venues better known in the open water swimming community for challenging open water swims with tricky currents and surrounding marine life rather than a notorious penal history,” says Steven Munatones.

Convicts of the past have given way to contemporary open water swimming traditionalists and wetsuit-clad triathletes and swimmers who can replicate an aquatic path of prison escape.”

Jacques Tuset is the unchallenged King of the Prison Island Swims that includes the following locations:

Triple Break Sites (listed by region and country)

Africa
*Mogador Island (Morocco): 2.2 km to mainland, was used as a prison in the late 1800s
*Île de Gorée (Senegal) 5.2 km to mainland, was known as the location of the House of Slaves
*Robben Island (South Africa): 7.4 km to mainland, was the former isolated prison home of Nelson Mandella and other South Africans
*Changuu (Tanzania): 34 km to mainland and 4.5 km to Zanzibar, was used in the 1860s as a prison for rebellious slaves
*Saint Helena (UK Colony in South Atlantic Ocean): 1,800 km to mainland was used as a prison for Napoleon

Oceania
*Rottnest Island (Australia): 19.7 km to mainland, was used as an Aboriginal prison between 1838 and 1931 for men and boys
*Fort Denison (Australia): 1 km to mainland, was used as a prison and for hanging in the 1800s
*Cockatoo Island (Australia): 0.5 km to the mainland, was used as a prison from 1839 to 1869

Central America
*Isla San Lucas (Costa Rica): 4 km to the mainland, was used as a prison 1873 to 1991
*Coiba (Panama): 20 km to the mainland, was used as a prison from 1919 to 2004

Europe
*Alderney Island (Alderney, Channel Islands): 15 km to mainland, was a camp for Russian slave workers for the German occupational forces during World War II
*Spitbank Fort (England): 1.3 km to mainland, built in 1878 and served later as a prison
*Île du Levant (France): 12 km to mainland, was used as a children’s prison
*Fort Royal de Sainte-Marguerite (France): 1 km to mainland, was used as a military prison and where the famous Man in the iron mask was held captive
*Le Château d’If (France): 5 km to mainland, was a fortress and prison for 400 best know through the novel The Count of Monte Cristo
*Fort Boyard (France): 18 km to mainland, is an oval-shaped fort and military prison
*Île de Brescou (Brescou Fort) (France): 1.5 km to mainland, was used from late 1600s for 200 year as a state prison for crimes such as treason
*Oleron Island (Île d’Oléron) (France): 3 km “organised race” to mainland, was used as a state prison between 1789-1870
*Château du Taureau (France): 0.7 km to mainland, was used in the 1720 as a small prison (10 prisoners maximum)
*Belle-Île (France): 15 km to mainland, was used from 1902 to 1977 for children
*Ile d’ Yeu (France): 20 km to mainland, was used until 1950s the 1860s as a state prison – famous for Marshal Petain
*Saint-Martin-de-Ré (France): 16 km to mainland, was used as a transfer prison for convict destines for Devil’s Island
*Makronisos (Greece): 5 km to mainland, was used in the 1946-1949 as a prison political prisoners
*Fortress of Bourtzi (Greece): 0.5 km to mainland, was used from the 1865s as a prison
*Spike Island (Ireland): 2 km off the larger Island of Cobh, was the former isolated prison home of infamous Irish inmates
*Pianosa (Italy): 18 km to mainland, was used from Roman times and later for Mafia members as a prison
*Elba (Italy): 22 km to mainland, was used as Napoleon’s prison
*Grmožur (Montenegro): 1.5 km to mainland, The “Alcatraz” of Montenego from 1843
*Mamula Fortress (Montenegro): 1.2 km to mainland, was used as a prison in the 1800s
*Cabrera (Spain): 25 km to mainland, was used in the early 18060s as a prison during the Napoleonic Wars – once housing 25,000 prisoners
*Tabarca (Spain): 21 km to mainland, was used in the 1700s as a prison
*Isla de San Simón (Spain): 0.4 m to mainland, was used from 838 to 1927 as a prison and leper colony
*Långholmen (Sweden): 0.3 km to the center of Stockholm, was used as a prison for 250 years – closed in 1975

North America
*Alcatraz Island (U.S.A.): 2.3 km to mainland, was the former isolated prison home of Al Capone and other celebrated American criminals
*Santa Cruz (U.S.A.): 33 km to mainland, was use to house prisoner after Mexico’s independence from France
*Fort Warren (U.S.A.): 11 km to mainland, was used as a prison in the American Civil War 1862
*Fort Jefferson (U.S.A.): 110 km to Key West Florida, was used as a prison for USA Civil War deserters and plotters to kill Abraham Lincoln
*McNeil Island (U.S.A.): 4.5 km to mainland, was used as a prison in the 1880s up to 1,200 inmates
*Johnson Island (U.S.A.): 5 km to mainland, was used as a prison from 1861 with up 2,500 Conference prisoners
*Peddocks Island (U.S.A.): 0.4 km to mainland, was used as a prison during World War II for Italian prisoners

South America
*Devil’s Island (French Guiana) 14 km to mainland, was a well-known location of the French penal system and a leper colony
*El Frontón (Peru): 5 km to mainland, was used as a prison until the 20th century

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association