Otto Thaning

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Dr. Otto Thaning, open water swimmer and surgeon
Marathon swimmer and heart surgeon
Dr. Otto Thaning is a heart surgeon at Blain Communications in Cape Town, South Africa and an accomplished marathon swimmer who is a member of the Half Century Club.

Marathon Swimming Career

Dr. Thaning has completed the English Channel (England to France) in 10 hours 29 minutes in 15-16°C at the age of 53 years old on 30 August 1994.

He also completed the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Morocco in 4 hours 0 minutes in 19°C at the age of 63 years old on 24 September 2004 to be ranked #31 on the global Oceans Seven.

He has also swum from Robben Island to Blouberg numerous times. His 2007 swim took him 2 hours 37 minutes at the age of 66 years old on 22 December 2007. He became the oldest person at the age of 72 to complete a Robben Island crossing in South Africa on 17 March 2012.

He also set a world record in Lake Malawi, Makinjira (Mozambique) when he crossed the lake in 10 hours 5 minutes in 28°C when he was 51 years old on 5 January 1992.

Swimming and Heart Surgery

"My swimming interest has always been a passion shared with my involvement in heart surgery. I was fortunate to have been trained by Chris Barnard and work in a hospital in Cape Town that carries his name - Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital."

[Note: Dr. Christiaan Neethling Barnard (November 8, 1922 – September 2, 2001) was a South African cardiac surgeon who performed the world's first successful human-to-human heart transplant.

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