For her marathon swims (a 9 hour 14 minute crossing of the English Channel and her unprecedented 124 km marathon swim in the Bahamas), her two-year effort of fund-raising on behalf of Swim Across America, her coaching of English Channel relays, and the unseen pain she endured for several days in the hospital during a post-swim recovery, Chloë McCardel was nominated for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year.
While the admiration and adulation of fans around the world came pouring in, McCardel faced the very real problem of dealing with massive amounts of venom that had been repeatedly harpooned into her skin by sea wasp throughout the 41 hour 21 minute ordeal.
With her help of pilots Ron Knight and Malcolm Goodman, crew members Paul McQueeney and Ken Dixon, a shark safety crew of Andy Olday, Mackey Violich, Candice Brittain, Alp Gökgöz, and Beth McKenna, kayakers Niles Furlong, Patrick Lamontagne, Liz Shingsby, Patty Lee, Allison Baldwin, and EMT Jai Leal, and Marathon Swimmers Federation observers David Barra and Brianne Yeates, McCardel had the physical stamina to swim for nearly 2 days, but it was the dozens of sea wasp attacks that practically stretched out her experience in the Bahamas.
The medical staff at St. Margaret’s Hospital in Nassau helped close the curtain on McCardel’s swim for a marathon like this truly does not end until the swimmer is completely stabilized. While she did walk up the shore unassisted and rested in the arms of her husband and the care of EMT Leal, the discomfort continued as she was hospitalized and in pain with infected stings, blisters, and burns that had to be drained. Her swim began in the morning of October 20th, but it really continued until October 28th when she was discharged from the hospital.
Her 8 long, painful days were largely out of the view of the public, but a detailed description of her swim is a comprehensive historical record that is provided by Dave Barra here.
Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association