Amputee swims from Sardinia to Corsica
On Sunday Sept 27th, Thierry Corbalan, a 50 year-old man amputed of both arms has become the first handicapped person to swim the 15km-wide Bonifacio straight.
Equiped with a monofin, he entered the waters of Santa Teresa di Gallura, North Sardinia, at 7.30am and swam for a bit less than 5 hours, reaching the beach of Piantarella near Bonifacio in Corsica at 12.25pm.
“Everything went smoothly, despite of the currents and the swell, I’ve never felt I was reaching my‘Red Zone’!” he told AFP just a few minutes after his arrival.
“When I’m in water I feel like I have gills, and dont feel any muscle strains nor pains” he added.
Thierry Corbalan was amputed of both arms, right over the shoulders, as a consequence of an accident he had in his 29th year.
This IT Correspondent working for the Ajaccio police station trained four months-straight to pull this achivement.
As he started swimming the conditions were bad, some waves 1,5meters high.
All along his crossing, he was re-fueled by one-legged athlete kayaker Frank Bruno
every 30 minutes.
“The challenge I set myself was to give hope to those that are handicaped and have stopped believing it was possible”, Mr Corbalan told AFP, adding that his crossing was dedicated to Frank Bruno’s charity, ‘Bout de vie’.
The Bonifacio straight characterzies itself by its opposite currents, created by the meeting of the Mediterranean and the Tyrrhenian seas. The Depths can reach some 4000 meters.
BONIFACIO (Corse-du-Sud), 27 sept 2009 (AFP)
Photos Corse Matin
Thierry Corbalan video training : www.youtube.com/watch?v=naEfshQv5kg