SATELLITE BEACH (CBSMiami) — A 61-year-old Florida pistillate is the latest idiosyncratic to successfully aquatics crossed the English Channel.
Gina Harden, who lives successful Satellite Beach, has ever loved the ocean.
“I conscionable loved the sea. I loved the water. Being around, it’s ever been wherever my psyche is,” Harden said.
Harden was 1 of the archetypal women successful the Navy to go a diver. In her 12-year career, she served successful Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait, and was awarded the Bronze Star.
Ever since she was a small girl, she has wanted to aquatics the English Channel.
“I didn’t privation to permission my beingness knowing determination was thing connected the array that I wanted to bash that I didn’t do,” she said.
On July 18, astatine 61 years old, Harden took the plunge aft grooming for implicit 2 years.
With a aviator vessel by her broadside and friends to cheer her on, she swam implicit 16 hours successful frigid water.
The lone clip she slowed was to instrumentality a drink, devour a banana and devour a Twinkie.
“Boy, and it tasted good, too. I’m similar this is bedewed but I’m shoving it successful my mouth,” Harden said. “You person truthful overmuch time. You’re successful your ain caput truthful long. I was singing — Praying.”
During her 33-mile swim, Harden got a cramp, became bushed and acold but kept moving guardant until she reached the enactment of France.
“First I stood up and fell level connected my face. It took everlastingly for maine to beryllium capable to basal up,” Harden said. “All these French people, families – a canine came moving toward me. I deliberation determination is simply a representation of maine holding the U.S. emblem and I’m conscionable wholly dazed.”
Harden said it wasn’t until her vessel thrust backmost to England that she realized what happened.
“Watching the French enactment propulsion distant I was like, ‘Yes, I did it!’” Harden said.
She has a bulletin committee afloat of pictures, a roadworthy representation of her hopes and dreams, and now, a reminder that dreams ne'er dice for the young astatine heart.