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South African woman first to swim the 36km 330m between islands

This amazing feat took 13 hours and 23 minutes and spanned to water between Koh Phangnan and Koh Tao!

At 2am on Sunday the 25th May Gene Giraudeau and her support team left the idyllic beach of Mae Haad in Koh Phangnan. They headed out into the inky blackness of the Gulf of Thailand on a 330 degree bearing to the smaller island of Koh Tao.

During this time, Gene could not touch or be supported by any boats or persons, she ate and drank in the water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGene grew up in Johannesburg but moved to Tokai in Cape Town. She was swimming from the age of 3 years old. She entered her first race at just 7 years old and went on to compete in South Africa at National Level. 18 months ago she circumnavigated the 23km around Koh Tao, a feat which took her 9hours and 16 mins.

Upon completion of the 36km swim Gene was very emotional, ‘It’s amazing that so many people have given up their time and offered their expertise to make my dream come true. The support and messages that I received on social media both in the run up to and during the swim were overwhelming and really helped. I’m happy that I am able to bring awareness to the plight that sharks are facing and have helped by raising money to aid their cause too’.

Why ?

A personal challenge….but also to raise awareness and funds to save sharks. The total now stands just short of 5000USD !

Why Sharks?

Gene is also a PADI Dive Master and worked as an underwater videographer on Koh Tao. Gene watched the shark numbers there dwindle which makes the passion and drive for her swim a personal one.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASharks die a horrific death when finned. They have their fins removed and are tossed back in the ocean to slowly suffocate. Without their fins they can’t swim and if they can’t swim, water does not flow through their gills allowing them to ‘breathe’.  This practice kills 1000s A DAY!

Donations will not only kept Gene motivated throughout her training schedule but through the swim too. FINathon is Project Awares campaign to help fight against shark finning by insisting on full protection of endangered sharks and negotiating stronger policies to protect them.

Who are Master Divers?

Master Divers are a small dive centre located on Koh Tao. They are provided the support for the swim from a logistical, fund raising, marketing and physiological stand point.

What can you do for us?

Please help us to address this issue by providing your support in helping us spread the word about our campaign to help end shark finning.

You can contact us for more information should you wish to include this story in your media.

You can donate or simply share on Facebook or Tweet the following link.

Tel: +66 (0)806 205527

Email: ayesha@master-divers.com




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