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Storms sink sea swimmer

  • 2007-07-30
  • By TBT staff and wire reports

BACK ON DRY LAND: Depsite ditching his attempt, Urbonas plans tro return to the Baltic's stormy waters (Photo: Photobankas)

VILNIUS 's Lithuanian long-distance swimmer Vidmantas Urbonas has been forced to abandon his attempt to become the first person to swim across the Baltic Sea.

The attempt was blighted by unseasonally bad weather from the start, but even so, Urbonas managed to complete more than half the 209 kilometer distance in six days. He was finally forced to throw in the rather soggy towel on the morning of July 27 when a serious storm and high waves made further progress practically impossible - with even more severe weather forecast.

Soon after he abandoned the attempt, Urbonas expressed a desire to return to the waves and tackle the Baltic again, completing his 'crossing' by resuming from the point at which he gave up, with some 95 kilometers still remaining. As well as getting the 49-year-old triathlete into the record books, the Baltic crossing was intended to draw attention to the problem of pollution in Baltic waters.