walker

Adam Walker Reveals His Most Terrifying Moments At Sea

WORDS: ALEX HARRIS
PHOTOGRAPHY: ANDREW WHITTON

Former electrical appliance salesman Adam Walker is one of only a handful of people in the world to successfully swim the world’s seven most challenging oceans. The Englishman’s feat is even more impressive once you factor in his top five most terrifying moments 

1.

“Number one has to be being stung by a Portuguese man o’ war after more than 13 hours of non-stop swimming. They’re known as the ‘floating terror’ as they have poison equivalent to a cobra snake which can shut down your organs and kill you. I had to pull two tentacles off my stomach; the pain was horrific. I thought I was on my way to being paralyzed, but I somehow continued to swim for more than three hours in agony to reach dry land. That was four years ago, and I still have the scars to prove it.” 

2.
“Having a sizeable shark underneath me in Cook Strait was pretty scary. But it was also one of my most incredible moments I’ve experienced as dolphins came to my aid. They wedged me in as part of their pod, and stayed alongside me for 90 minutes. One even circled me and touched my hand with its tail. It felt like they were protecting me and guiding me home.”

Walker

Adam Walker swims the most challenging oceans and confronts all dangers with endurance and courage

3.
“During the 26-mile swim in Molokai Straits in Hawaii, I saw a shark swim underneath me on two separate occasions. I told myself they were dolphins, but this time deep down I knew there weren’t. I knew of a man who attempted the same swim and had his calf bitten off by a Cookiecutter shark. I tired to keep this from my mind and shut out any demons. That sort of attack is very rare. I don’t believe sharks attack humans for the sake of it, I believe it’s often a case of mistaken identity. Plus I had faith that it was my destiny to get across. Thankfully I made it.”

4.
“When I swam from Ireland to Scotland I was barricaded in by lion’s mane jellyfish which, believe me, was not a pleasant experience. They’re the biggest jellyfish in the world and their tentacles grow to over 100ft long, making them difficult to avoid! I tried my best to dodge them throughout my 10-hour, 45-minute minute swim but I was stung a number of times. You just have to swim through the pain. You keep your goal in mind and keep swimming.” 

Walker

On the boat, Walker is safe. But the open water is full of dangers…

5.
“My bicep tendon ruptured during my 21-mile swim of Catalina Channel in the US. That was painful enough, then I had to swim for over six hours with one arm in the Pacific Ocean. I tried not to think about the sharks and carry on as best I could. I felt a very sore burning pain constantly, every stroke hurt like hell. It was the second time this had happened, but it I thought,  ‘At least it’s not as bad as a Portuguese man o’ war sting!’ The fear of failure kept me afloat. Pain lasts for a minute, success lasts for a lifetime.” 

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04 2016 redbulletin.com

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