Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.
Cameron Keith became the youngest person in history to successfully cross the Molokai Channel from Molokai Island to Oahu yesterday.
After a delay due to mechanical problems on his escort boat, the 15-year-old from Cairns, Australia was admittedly nervous. But his nerves seem to melt away once he got started from Papohaku Beach on Molokai Island in the early morning hours. He swam steadily throughout the morning and afternoon, finishing after 13 hours 55 minutes at 5:40 pm on Sandy Beach on Oahu.
Linda Kaiser reports from Oahu, “He was stung and is very sunburned, but he had THE most awesome day out there with zero wind. The channel was like a lake. Jeff Kozlovich, his paddler, remarked he has never seen it so nice for a channel crossing.”
Keith was on track to complete a crossing in record time, but he got stuck in a mean current as he approached Sandy Beach and swam in place for almost 2 hours. “The shore break was huge at Sandy Beach as Cameron was dragged back a few times before he could escape and run up the beach. Hawaiinewsnow was there and did a live broadcast of the finish. While Cameron was being interviewed, Mother Nature let loose a huge thunder clap…it was a standing ovation for a great swim.”
From Papohaku Beach on Molokai where it all started. Escort boat can be seen above the crashing wave.
From Sandy Beach and the blowhole (in action) on the eastern shores of Oahu.
Keith came running on to shore on Sandy Beach on Oahu after fighting the currents and jellyfish at the end of his 13 hour 55 minute crossing.
He would literally run up the beach quite a way [see local Hawaiian television report below] at the end of the solo swim, making it seem like an end of a short ocean swim.
Photo below shows Keith at finish with flower leis around neck being interviewed by the local television crews.
Photos courtesy of Laura Miller.
Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL
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