Courtesy of Ricardo Augusto Dagua, Alcatrazes, Brazil. Ricardo Augusto Dagua has faced death and came out more inspired and motivated than ever. Dagua, a Brazilian surfer from Camburi in São Paulo, went on a surfing trip to Fiji years ago. Unexpectedly, his boat broke down and he was all alone.  Too scared to wait for help that would probably never come, he decided to swim to shore – or somewhere – in order to save himself. “I swam for more than 4 hours without water or food,” he recalled as he lived to tell his story.  His self-save was a watershed moment for him – it was the catalyst for his newly found love of open water swimming. After he returned him, he thought about a channel swim to Alcatrazes, a marine preservation area along the northern coast of the state of São Paulo.  “It became my great physical and mental challenge.” But success did not come easily or soon.  He attempted a 40 km swim three times to the islands in 2016, 2017 and 2018 before he finally completed the swim in 15 hours 30 minutes this year. Copyright © 2008-2019 by World Open Water Swimming Association