Arturo Santos, Ignacio Bussy Make History At Isla de Lobos

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Two Argentines living in Punta del Este, Uruguay made history – again – in an unprecedented tandem swim.


After first completing the channel last year in a one-way crossing, they became the first duo to swim a two-way crossing of the channel that separates Punta del Este on the Isla de Lobos. Their 20 km swim took 4 hours 55 minutes, much faster than they had expected.

Arturo Santos and Ignacio Bussy, both 41 years old, started from Los Ingleses Beach of the peninsula.

Luckily, the current was in our favor during our first leg. It [only] took two hours to arrive. On the way back, still under ideal conditions, the return took 3 hours 20 minutes,” Santos told El Pais.

The duo were Walkerized, Uruguay-style. They were followed for almost a kilometer with sea lionsThe Isla de Lobos (or the Island of Sea Lions) has the largest population of sea lions in South America, approximately 250,000 animals. We saw them all around us, jumping from one side to another,” said Bussy.

The water is warmer and the weather conditions are better in March. We know that the window we have to swim to the island opens when the full moon phenomenon occurs.”

The swim was in support of Socobioma (or Sociedad para la Conservacion de la Biodiversidad de Maldonado) that focuses on marine life preservation, medical treatment of insured marine species, and re-establishment of the natural habitat. “The activities of this foundation have been practically stopped due to the lack of funds while its existence is indispensable. Last winter, we have witnessed a large number of insured or ill animals such as penguins and sea lions on the beaches of the Uruguayan coast which was caused by shipping oil leaks and spills and other kinds of human negligence. This year, we hope to attract more attention to the grave ecological problems of this area.”

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