Lithuanian athlete to swim 50 km across Siberian Lake Baikal

Lithuanian triathlete Vidmantas Urbonas will begin on Thursday his attempt to swim across the Russian Siberian Lake Baikal in one of its widest spots of some 50 kilometers, the Lithuanian Consulate in the city of Irkutsk said.

The 1998 world ultra-triathlon champion is to swim from the Bezymyanny Cape on the eastern bank of the world’s deepest lake to the Ukhan Cape at Olkhon, Baikal’s largest island located near its western bank.

Urbonas hopes to get to Olkhon by Friday night. A rescue boat will follow the athlete.

“If I was swimming in a pool, I would make it in 24 hours, but we are talking about a sea of Baikal with 7-strong winds [near gale],” the athlete told journalists. “It all depends on waves, as well as on the water temperature which reaches 7 degrees [Celsius] (44 degrees Fahrenheit).”

In 2007, Urbonas became the first person to swim across the Baltic Sea.

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