|Challenge Statistics (Current)|
|Course Distance:||53.0 Miles|
|Total Dist. Swum:||n/a|
|Avg. Dist. Swum:||n/a|
The Bering Strait is a 53 mile (85 km) wide gap between mainland Russia and the US.
During the cold, dark winter, the Strait partially freezes with large channels of fast flowing water. These open channels are sometimes clogged with moving chuncks of ice.
Summer conditions are extremely variable and harsh. Storms are powerful, frequent and unpredictable. And because of the shallow depth of the Strait, waves are shorter and much stronger than deep sea waves. The average summer water temperature is 43 F (6 C) -- Summer would be the ideal time to attempt a swim crossing.
No one has swum the length of the Strait. However, in 1987, a small symbollicaly important swim was completed. There are two islands in the Strait, Big Diomede (Russia) and Little Diomede (US), that are separated by 2.4 miles (4 km). During the cold war, the border between the islands was known as the "Ice Curtain." In 1987, American swimmer Lynne Cox swam between these two islands.