Russian woman who swam under Siberia’s ice may have broken the world record

Footage tweeted by the English language Siberian Times exhibits the 40-year-old woman from Moscow getting into the carved-out part of a frozen Lake Baikal, earlier than she began the underwater ice swim.

Yekaterina Nekrasova, who took up free diving 4 years in the past, then held her breath for a minute and a half as she coated the 85 meters (279 ft) of a frozen Lake Baikal on January 7 — the Russian Orthodox Christmas Day.

She is believed to have set a world record along with her try. A spokeswoman for Guinness World Records informed CNN they have obtained particulars of Nekrasova’s try however have but to confirm the landmark swim.

Footage filmed from above the floor exhibits members of her help workforce following behind in moist fits, in case of emergency. According to the Siberian Times, holes had been reduce in the 10-inch-thick ice at common intervals in case she wanted to abort the swim.

The problem was filmed from each above and beneath the floor. Nekrasova may be seen descending a ladder, then following a route marked by a cable for a minute and a half. At the finish she exits the water by climbing up one other ladder.

Met by her help workforce, Nekrasova emerges to say in English: “I’m OK.”

Lake Baikal holds a number of international data itself. Somewhere between 20 and 25 million years previous, it’s the oldest present freshwater lake on Earth. Reaching down so far as 5,315 ft, it’s the deepest continental physique of water, in addition to being the world’s largest freshwater lake by quantity — it holds about one-fifth of the recent water on Earth’s floor, some 5,500 cubic miles.

Posting on Russian social community web site VK, Nekrasova mentioned the unique plan was to swim on January 6 however “extreme weather” — together with a “very strong frost” and stormy winds — delayed it.

While she knew that she may “comfortably” swim 75 meters (246 ft), Nekrasova mentioned doubts started to creep in.

“I thought what if I would freeze before the start, or the mask would freeze or fog up, or I would stick to the ice at the finish line. And of course I didn’t know how long I could dive in a new place,” she wrote.

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The air temperature was as little as -22 levels Fahrenheit however felt extra like -43.6 on January 6, she mentioned. Conditions had been “dangerous and dark under the ice,” which satisfied the workforce to postpone the try.

Nekrasova described what occurred the following day as a “Christmas miracle.”

“The weather warmed up to -21 (degrees Celsius, -5.8 Fahrenheit ), the wind slightly moderated,” she wrote. As her help workforce ready the web site with security lanes and holes in the ice, she remained at her resort.

Nekrasova took up free diving four years ago.

Having warmed up, she made her strategy to the start line, the place she was joined by her help workforce.

“For a minute I stood dressed in front of the ladder, tuned in, breathing, the wind was strong. I put on a mask, undressed and hurried into the water. There is no wind, no frost, no fear in the water and it is very comfortable. I stood for about 30 seconds until the pulse calmed down. Then I dived.”

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Describing the expertise as a “pleasure,” mentioned she “enjoyed the process” and that finally she was “overwhelmed with emotions.”

Signing off, she added: “The powerful energy of this place helped me. Thank you Baikal! Until next time!”

Ice swimming, or epiphany bathing, is a convention in Russia. For many Orthodox Christians, it’s a part of a January ritual commemorating the baptism of Jesus.

Nekrasova, who trains 4 instances per week in a heat pool and dives twice in per week in ice holes in Moscow, informed CNN: “For me, under-ice diving is like an energy boost, as if I was reborn. It is a sensation I can’t compare to anything else, a very pleasant one. And I always long for it.”

Lake Baikal is somewhere between 20 and 25 million years old and is the oldest existing freshwater lake on Earth.
Ram Barkai, the founding father of the International Ice Swimming Association, informed CNN he and a workforce of 4 Russian ice swimmers coated an above-surface “ice mile” in Lake Baikal at 40.1 levels Fahrenheit again in 2017.

By comparability, Nekrasova is a free diver — which implies she held her breath for the period of the swim at near 32 levels Fahrenheit, under a sheet of ice.

He mentioned: “The water there is as fresh as one can get — salinity of zero. Meaning you are heavier in the water and you feel the cold a little more than in salt water.

“It is a magical place, Lake Baikal. The water visibility can also be wonderful, crystal clear water and you may see endlessly. That is an efficient issue for security.”

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Of Nekrasova’s achievement, he mentioned: “The water ought to have been near zero, which makes it extraordinarily onerous in your muscle tissues. She swam with none help — gliding very effectively. It was wonderful to observe her.

“Eighty-five meters is a very long distance in warm water with no ice sheet above your head. Although she had a line to show her direction and distance, she wasn’t attached to anything, with few ice holes on the way. Typical hardcore Russian style.”

According to Guinness World Records, the record for the longest swim under ice is held by Dane Stig Severinsen, who swam 250 ft in Greenland in 2013.

The record for the longest feminine swim under ice is 229.659 ft and was achieved by South African Amber Fillary in Oppsjø, Norway, on February 29, 2020.

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