Jellyfish Swim across English Channel

Vala Hafstað

A group of six Icelandic female swimmers who call themselves Marglytturnar, meaning “the Jellyfish,” completed a relay swim across the English Channel last night, reports. They left Dover, England, at 6 am yesterday morning and swam to shore in Cap Gris Nez, France, 15 hours and 34 km (21 mi) later.

The team of swimmers consists of Sigrún Þuríður Geirsdóttir, Birna Bragadóttir, Brynhildur Ólafsdóttir, Sigurlaug María Jónsdóttir, Halldóra Gyða Matthíasdóttir and Þórey Vilhjálmsdóttir.

Marglytturnar, yesterday morning, along with the captain of the boat …

Marglytturnar, yesterday morning, along with the captain of the boat Rowena, which accompanied them across. Photo/Marglytturnar

All the women swam for about an hour at a time in predetermined order. After 6 pm, or halfway through, the winds picked up, making conditions tough for the swimmers, almost all of whom got seasick.

“When the waves are huge, you swallow a lot of seawater and roll about,” Brynhildur tells . “This feels so strange. It’s so crazy – completely disgusting while it lasts, but still so much fun,” she adds.


The women took two years to prepare for the swim. Their purpose was to bring attention to plastic pollution in the ocean and to raise funds for Blái herinn – an environment organization, which has focused on cleaning Icelandic beaches.

They accept donations through the app AUR, by calling +354-788-9966, or by bank transfer to account 0537-14-650972, kennitala 250766-5219.

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