From Kołobrzeg (Poland) to Bornholm (Dennmark), 100 km across the Baltic Sea – a challenge that 25-year-old Sebastian Karaś wanted to complete within 24 hours. He started off yesterday in the afternoon, but when the night came, it turned out that extreme weather conditions and nausea forced the swimmer to withdraw.

Sebastian Karaś is 25 years old. As he wrote on his website, he got fascinated by swimming when he was just eight. In September 2015 he crossed the English Channel within just 8 hours and 48 minutes, which was a better result than the former Polish record.

High waves and nausea forced Sebastian to quit the challenge

High waves and nausea forced Sebastian to quit the challenge

This time the challenge was to swim 100 km across the Baltic Sea. If the attempt had been successful, Karaś would have been the first man ever to do it. Cold water, strong currents and 24 hours without a break for sleep – that is what he was going to face during his journey. There was a security boat accompanying him, with a lifeguard and a doctor on board, but the 25-year-old wanted to achieve his goal alone, without any kind of direct contact with the boat.

Change of plans

Karaś has been preparing for this trial for many months. Just before the start he reversed the route, which originally led from Bornholm to Kołobrzeg. Everything because of bad weather. Then he finally started off on Thursday at 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

Sebastian’s attempt was unfortunately interrupted after 10 o’clock. At first a short information appeared on his website, stating that “Sebastian is fed by the rib boat’s crew that is sailing next to him. He drinks a lot of water, just ate pierogi, and wants fruit now. About 9:30 in the afternoon he put on his neoprene cap. The night is relatively warm, good visibility.” But soon after that it turned out that Karaś had to stop his attempt.

Unfortunately, severe weather conditions and nausea had forced Sebastian to quit, – stated the note.

Defeated by waves

Unfortunately, the Baltic is not yet to be overcome. After eight hours Sebastian had to get out of the water. He had already swum 30 km, but seasickness and high waves forced us to do so, – explained Sebastian’s manager Antoni Rokicki.

He added that the conditions were difficult even the crew accompanying Karaś.

After about one hour, one man was in such a state that we had to use a drop. There were fourteen people on our boat and probably only three of us survived to the end without getting seasick, – reported Rokicki. We waited a whole week for the weather to improve, we analysed the forecasts every day. We knew that it’s our only chance to start off, – he said.

Rokicki admitted that he had not yet talked to Sebastian about another attempt.

Sebastian and the entire crew are now in a hotel, sleeping. I have not yet asked them about whether we are doing something new or closing this project. Sebastian won’t give up for sure, and he will continue setting himself big goals, – stressed Rokicki.


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