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Grandma braves sharks, jellyfish in 17-hour swim to remote island

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A grandmother recently completed a historic, 17-hour-long swim through shark-inhabited waters off the Northern California coast – all without a wetsuit.

Swimmer extraordinaire Amy Appelhans Gubser, 55, completed the aquatic journey on May 11. She began at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge at around 3:27 a.m. and ended up at the Farallon Islands at around 8:30 p.m. that night.

According to the Marathon Swimmers Foundation, Gubser is the only swimmer to complete that specific route without a wetsuit. Two men successfully completed the swim in 2014, and there were also three documented failures between 2012 and 2015.

The Pacifica, California, resident told Fox News Digital that she swam along intense fog in the Pacific Ocean, which she described as a “sensory deprivation bubble.” 

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Amy Appelhans Gubser, 55, completed the 17-hour swimming journey on May 11.  (John Chapman)

“I had a thought bubble around me that only allowed us to see 100 meters in any direction,” she explained. “And then the water had red tide, so I couldn’t see past my fingertips.”

“⁠For 17 hours, I had no idea where I was, what was going on…I went into a meditative state.,” she explained. “There were some 30 minute time intervals that passed very quickly. Others seemed like they were 300 hours.”

The swimmer was not allowed to touch the boat on the journey, but had teammates who periodically fed her hot chocolate, chicken broth and canned peaches to keep her energy up.

Gubser also confirmed that the waters were shark-inhabited, but she kept a cool head during the trek. She suffered a few jellyfish stings, but her helpers watched out for sharks and seals.

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“I really had to be very thoughtful and careful about how I approached this swim because of the sharks,” she explained. “And April, May, June is when a very big migration of great white sharks takes place away from the Farallon Islands. That’s why the swim has to take place during that timeframe.”

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Split image of Amy in swimsuit and boat in fog

Gubser told Fox News Digital that she swam competitively in college, but took a 24-year break before picking the hobby up again. (John Chapman)

Gubser, who works as a fetal cardiology nurse at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in San Francisco, told Fox News Digital that she swam competitively in college. But she didn’t pick up the hobby again until five years ago.

“I swam through college right after college, hung up my suit, and I did not touch the water for 24 years,” she said. “Ten years ago, I went back in the water with a friend of mine who challenged me to go in…it was 52 degrees, no wetsuit, in February.”

“I thought it was the craziest thing I could possibly do. I cried, I had a panic attack…[but] within 15 minutes, my body got this warmth that you generate from moving. And every cell in my body became alive.”

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Gubser sacrificed warmth and the ability to easily float by not having a wetsuit. The waters got as cold as 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

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“Wetsuits are a great piece of equipment, especially for people that are starting out in open water,” Gubser explained. “But I follow the Marathon Swim Federation rules and the open water swim world rules that, for the last 150 years, have been the same. Which is a swimsuit, a cap, some form of goggles, earplugs and a nose clip.”

Image of Amy standing with other people

Amy Gubser (second to right) had a team of helpers to feed her and watch out for sharks. (John Chapman)

“When you wear a wetsuit your skin rubs against the material,” Gubser added. “And the last thing that I really wanted was for my skin to bleed near a shark island.”

Gubser also told Fox that her newfound fame came unexpectedly. Her family is thankful that the swim is over.

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“My whole family is so relieved, because I have been talking about this thing for five years, and my husband will be the first to tell you he’s just grateful it’s done,” she said. 

 

Gubser’s grandchildren are too young to grasp the magnitude of her historic swim, but she predicts her achievement will become a piece of family lore down the line.

“My grandkids are so young…My two-year-old, she just swims in the bathtub with her goggles on and thinks she swam as far. Which is lovely, I love that,” she laughed.

Wide shot of deck of boat in Pacific Ocean

The historic May 11 swim began at around 3 a.m. and ended past 8 p.m. that night. (John Chapman)

“I’m just grateful that I can give them a good legacy in the future of, you know, ‘Your grandma did that’.”

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The nurse also said she is overjoyed at the positive response she has received, and hopes her story inspires others to achieve their fitness goals – regardless of age or physical condition.

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“I hope this story inspires somebody to not be challenged by a number [like] their age or their weight. I mean, all of my body got me across that. That’s pretty impressive,” she said.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

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Alaska

US: Two dead in plane crash in Alaska

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US: Two dead in plane crash in Alaska


San Francisco, June 20: Two men were presumed dead after a small plane crashed into Crescent Lake on the Kenai Peninsula, US state of Alaska, state troopers said.

 Two hikers witnessed the crash and reported it to troopers on Tuesday afternoon. The rescue team took a helicopter and a float plane to the area and located debris in the lake, with no signs of survivors in the water or on the shore, reported Xinhua news agency, citing troopers.

Efforts to recover their bodies were underway on Wednesday.

A Piper PA-18 Super Cub plane with two men aboard had been reported overdue in the area. The plane had departed from Moose Pass and was expected to return to the same area, according to troopers’ spokesman Austin McDaniel.

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The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

(The content of this article is sourced from a news agency and has not been edited by the ap7am team.)



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Arizona

Arizona Freeway Dust Detection System Hindered by Bureaucracy

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Arizona Freeway Dust Detection System Hindered by Bureaucracy


A $6.5 million high-tech system designed to reduce dust storm-related accidents on Interstate 10 has been delayed by bureaucratic issues. Although operational since 2020, the system’s Doppler radar has not sent any data to the National Weather Service. Morgan Loew looks into the challenges faced and the potential life-saving benefits of this system.



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California

Lakers News: LA Reveals Schedule for July’s California Classic Summer League

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Lakers News: LA Reveals Schedule for July’s California Classic Summer League


The 2024 NBA offseason is officially underway. This summer will be the biggest to date for the Lakers, as they have a bunch of vital decisions to make in the coming weeks. While all the talk will be on the decision-making of Los Angeles brass regarding the roster and coaching staff, basketball will be played this summer, starting with the 2024 California Classic Summer League.

It will give us our first chance at getting a look at the rookies and undrafted players the Lakers targeted.

The Lakers will participate in three games, all held in San Francisco. The Lakes will play from July 6-10, starting with the Sacramento Kings at 1:30 p.m. P.T. The next game will be on July 7 against the Golden State Warriors at 3:30 p.m. P.T. The final game before the team heads to the Las Vegas Summer League, L.A., will play the Miami Heat on July 10 at 4:00 p.m. P.T.

The NBA will have the California Classic Summer League in Sacramento from July 6-7 and 9 and in San Francisco from July 6-7 and 10. The NBA will also hold the Salt Lake City Summer League from July 8-10. The NBA 2K25 Summer League in Las Vegas will be from July 12-22.

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The Lakers will look to hit on all cylinders this summer, including Summer League.

More Lakers: Key Offseason Dates for Los Angeles



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