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Meet the Inspirational Man With No Arms Who's Swimming Between Five Continents

For 18 years, Philippe Croizon, 44, has been without his arms or legs. He lost them in a terrible accident. After the hard adjustment and an understandable bout of depression, Gizmodo reports he became inspired when he saw a woman swimming the English Channel. More than a decade later, he has since become an inspiration himself and is setting out to swim between five continents.

How does a man with no limbs achieve such a feat you may ask? Croizon uses specialized flippers fitted on what is left of his legs and has no prosthetics on his arms. The Frenchman also has a snorkel to help him breath.

Croizon trained to swim across the English Channel for 15 years and finished with in an impressive 13 hours. Gizmodo reports his finishing time is nothing to scoff at given that the fastest verified time across the 21-mile expanse is a little under 7 hours. It was also 10 hours under his expected schedule. His newest mission to swim essentially around the world is something he thinks will "symbolically link the five continents." Gizmodo has more on his route:

Croizon's swim starts in May, when he'll swim from Indonesia to Papua New Guinea. Then it's across the Red Sea between Jordan and Egypt, and the Strait of Gibraltar between Africa and Europe. The final leg is a swim across the Bering Strait between America and Asia in August.

All told, it will be about 53 miles and 45 hours of continuous swimming. There will be strong currents, and the course will take them through waters inhabited by sharks, orca whales, and poisonous jellyfish, and water temperature varying from 80 degrees Fahrenheit down to 32.

Check out the Daily Telegraph's report on the swim:

Croizon lost his arms and legs after being electrocuted in 1994 as he stood on a ladder adjusting his television antenna, which touched a power line. He has also been noted in the media for parachuting from an airplane in 2007 and for detailing his experiences in his book called "J'ai decide de vivre" (I decided to live.)

Croizon will be undertaking this extreme swim with swimming buddy Arnaud Chassery, who has all of his limbs. International Business Times has more from Croizon on the symbolism of the mission:

[...] two little people like us, two little men, we're going to be able to build a bridge between the continents...

Which means no one is very far from each other. So even if we have different political opinions, or skin colors, or even with our disabilities, we all live on the same planet. And that's the clear message we want to send," he said.

Learn more about the swim, sponsored by Handicap International here.

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