Diomede Islands Swim

From Openwaterpedia
Alexandr Brylin (left) and Gregori Prokopchyk (right) at the 2014 Global Open Water Swimming Conference on the Isle of Bute, Scotland together with Kevin Murphy (middle)

The Diomede Islands Swim was a 5.6 km tandem swim between the Diomede Islands by 38-year-old Alexandr Brylin and 45-year-old Grigorii Prokopchuk on 1 August 2014. It was selected as the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

Diomede Islands Swim

Diomede Islands Swim Course

Grigorii Prokopchuk and Alexandr Brylin swam 5.6 km from Little Diomede Island in the USA to Big Diomede Island (or Ratmanova Island) in Russia.


Grigorii Prokopchuk, swimming freestyle, finished in 1 hour 57 minutes. Alexandr Brylin, swimming breaststroke, finished in 2 hours 7 minutes while the water temperature varied between 3°C and 6°C.


The charity swim to help sick children in South Africa and Russia and to attract scientists’ and physicians’ attention to studies of the capabilities of a human body subjected to low temperatures.


The Diomede Islands Swim was conducted under the guidance of coach Viktor Godlevskiy.


The administrative support of the Russian tandem swim included the Russian Geographical Society, Russian Association of Polar Explorers, Government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Chukotka Autonomous District’s Administration, Blagoveshchensk City Administration, Legislative Assembly of the Amur region, Border Guard Administration of the FSB of Russia in the Chukotka Autonomous District and the Kamchatka territory, Government of the Kamchtka Territory, and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in the Far Eastern Federal District.

The transport and logistics were taken care of by Yakutia Airlines, The Chukotka Committee for Sport and Tourism, the TSO Lorino Sea Hunters, Polar Explorers’ Association for satellite phones, Chukotka Discovery for permits, and World of Travel for visa support.

The scientific research group included medical monitoring of the swimmers by Amur Regional Centre for Medical Prophylaxis and experimental research during the swim by the Institute of Physical and Technical Problems of the North named after V. P. Larionov of the Russian Academy of Sciences as well as insurance by Gelios-reserve. Irina Makarova of the Moscow Academy of Entrepreneurship (Blagoveshchensk branch) provided translation services, RekArt provided advertising and promotion while video coverage was taken by Viktor Muzhetskiy.

The financial support was provided by the Blagoveshchensk City Administration, Belogorsk City Administration, Yakutia Airlines, Santechnika 21 vek Co. Ltd., Soloviovsk Gold Mining, Yakutsk Committee for Sport and Tourism, Chukotka Committee for Sport and Tourism, Institute of Physical and Technical Problems of the North, Far Eastern State Academy of Physical Education, DRSK, Fenix tourist agency, Amur Building Fair trading firm, VNK petrol company, League of Manufacturers and Entrepreneurs of the Amur region, sole proprietors Melukova E.A., Shegai E.L. and Sharavin N.U., Amur Fireworks, MIS, Energo Reserve, Kranspetsburmash, AutoCentrMax, SatCom, and Kamchatka real estate agency Variant.

The swim between the islands was organized by the Amur Regional Federation AQUAICE-sport together with the International Ice Swimming Association and a charity organization MadSwimmer from South Africa with the support of the Border Guard Service of Russia, Russian Association of Polar Explorers, the Governments of the Reoublic of Sakha (Yakutia), Kamchatka territory, Chukotka Autonomous District and Amur region, Blagoveshchensk and Belogorsk City Administrations.


A documentary film was made with the financial support of the Kamchatka real estate agency Variant.

2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nomination

The Diomede Islands Swim is nominated for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

"Following in the wake of Lynne Cox, 38-year-old Alexandr Brylin and 45-year-old Grigorii Prokopchuk attempted to replicate Cox’s iconic swim in 1987 between the Diomede Islands in the Bering Strait. As a charity swim for Mad Swimmer to benefit sick children in Russia and South Africa, the Russian pair of ice swimmers tackled the 5.6 km course as a tandem swim. Brylin, swimming breaststroke, and Prokopchuck, swimming freestyle, stayed relatively close to one another, but were swept off their intended course from Little Diomede in the U.S.A. to Big Diomede (Ratmanova Island) in Russia. For their respective crossing under the guidance of Viktor Godlevskiy of 1 hour 57 minutes for Prokopchuk and 2 hours 8 minutes for Brylin, for boldly swimming in 3-6°C water in swirling currents and eddies, for serving as the protagonists of a documentary film Arctic: The Present and The Future and as scientific subject matter for research on cold water immersion, Alexandr Brylin and Grigorii Prokopchuk’s tandem Diomede Islands Swim is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year."

2014-WOWSA-AWARDS-675x169 (1).png

2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominees

1. Beyond Avalon by Dan Henry, Dave Speier, William Miller, Steve Miller, Lee Grove, Dana Selles, Mark Zambon, Penny Nagel, Chris Gibson, Jon Rodley, Jonathan Hands, Nick Jeffery, Terry Hirt (U.S.A.)
2. Curaçao Channel Crossing by Niko Kluyver, André Nottelman, Erwin Ruijsink (Curaçao)
3. Cyprus Israel Swim by Udi Erell, Doron Amosi, Ben Enosh, Ori Sela, Oded Rahav, Luc Chetboun (Israel)
4. Diomede Islands Swim by Alexandr Brylin and Grigorii Prokopchuk (Russia)
5. English Channel Crossing by Cyril Baldock (Australia)
6. Great Lake Adventure by Vicki Keith, Abi Tripp, Nick Streicher, Michelle Sempowski, Natasha Dobson, Harley Bolton, Natalie Lambert, Jenna Lambert (Canada)
7. International Winter Swimming Festival Argentina by Matías Ola (Argentina)
8. Lake Ontario Crossing by Trinity Arsenault (Canada)
9. Madagascar Swim by Thane Guy Williams and Jonno Proudfoot (South Africa)
10. Manhattan Island Marathon Swim by Kristian Rutford (U.S.A.)
11. Mallorca 360° Circumnavigation Swim by Richard Krugel (South Africa)
12. Monterey Bay Crossing by Patti Bauernfeind (U.S.A.)
13. Prison Island Swims by Jacques Tuset (France)
14. Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming by Charlotte Samuels (U.S.A.)
15. U.S. Lifeguarding Champions by Monmouth County Lifeguards (U.S.A.)

External links