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Prison island swim

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The Prison island swims were nominated for the 2016 WOWSA Awards, a recognition of outstanding men, women, performances and offerings around the globe sponsored by the World Open Water Swimming Association in the category of World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year
Le Château d’If of the island of If, start of the Défi de Monte Cristo open water swim and one of the Prison Island Swims in Marseille, France
Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour, Australia, site of the Dawny To Cockatoo Swim, a prison island swim
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Jacques Tuset of France, the world's leading Prison Island Swims escapee

noun - Prison island swims are open water swims where swimmers swim between famed prison islands and the shorelines or mainlands nearby. The prison island swims include the Triple Break (or the Triple Crown of Prison Island Swims and the Quatro Break (or the Quatro Break of Prison Island Swims. These swims include swims around the world.

Origin[edit]

Triple Break and Quatro Break were both first proposed by Ned Denison.

Synonyms[edit]

island prison swim, Triple Break, Quatro Break, break, swim escape, prison island escape swim, îles-prisons à la nage

Prison Island Swim (listed by region and country)[edit]

Triple Break Sites or Prison Island Swim (listed by region and country)[edit]

Africa[edit]

Asia/Australia[edit]

  • Rottnest Island (Australia): 19.7 km to mainland, was used as an Aboriginal prison between 1838 and 1931 for men and boys
  • Fort Denison (Australia): 1 km to mainland, was used as a prison and for hanging in the 1800s
  • Cockatoo Island (Australia): 0.5 km to mainland, was used as a prison from 1839 to 1869
  • Tasmania Island (Australia): 198 km to mainland, 70,000 were transported there from the early 1800s
  • Hao Island (French Polynesia): 920 km to Tahaiti, in the late 1980s, two French intelligence (DGSE) operatives were briefly confined to the military base on the island after France obtained their release from a New Zealand prison for sinking the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior
  • Gunkanjima Island (Japan): 15 km to Nagasaki, was used as a prison from 1930s to 1946 during World War II
  • Sado Island (Japan): 40 km to Japanese mainland, was used as a prison from 722 to 1271
  • Kwajalein Island (Marshall Islands): 2,865 km to Papua New Guinea, as reported in "Unbroken - Louis Zamperini Story" - Execution Island from WWII
  • Isle of Pines (New Caledonia): 49 km to mainland, 3,000 deported from the Paris Commune in 1872
  • Côn Sơn Island (Vietnam): 85 km to mainland, was used as a prison from the 1960s to the 1980s
  • St. Helena (Australia): 4 km to mainland, was used as a prison between 1826 and 1932

Central America[edit]

Europe[edit]

North America[edit]

  • Alcatraz Island (U.S.A. - San Francisco, California): 2.3 km to mainland, was the former isolated prison home of Al Capone and other celebrated American criminals
  • Santa Cruz (U.S.A. - Santa Barbara, California): 33 km to mainland, was use to house prisoner after Mexico's independence from France
  • Fort Warren (U.S.A. - Boston, Massachusetts): On Georges Island, 11 km to mainland, was used as a prison in the American Civil War until 1862
  • Long Island (U.S.A. - Boston, Massachusetts): , 1 km to mainland, During the Winter of 1676/7 all the local American Indians were collected and abandoned on the Island
  • Fort Jefferson (U.S.A. - Key West, Florida): 110 km to Key West Florida, was used as a prison for USA Civil War deserters and plotters to kill Abraham Lincoln
  • McNeil Island (U.S.A. - Steilacoom, Washington): 4.5 km to mainland, was used as a prison in the 1880s up to 1,200 inmates
  • Johnson Island (U.S.A. - Alderson, West Virginia): 5 km to mainland, was used as a prison from 1861 with up 2,500 Conference prisoners
  • Peddocks Island (U.S.A. - Boston, Massachusetts): 0.4 km to mainland, was used as a prison during World War II for Italian prisoners
  • Deer Island (U.S.A. - Boston, Massachusetts): Does not qualify - it is no longer separated from the mainland, was used as a prison from 1880 to 1981
  • Rikers Island (U.S.A. - New York City, New York): 0.1 km to mainland, active prison - and probably wouldn't encourage a swim!
  • Sunflower Island (U.S.A. - Missouri): no longer an island, Prison during the Civil War for those with smallpox - and prior to that the location of a duel challenge with future President Abraham Lincoln!

South America[edit]

10 Escapes Video[edit]


Courtesy of Jacques Tuset and Team Aquadeus

List of Famed Triple Break Swimmers[edit]

2001 Jacques Tuset (Oleron Island - La Tremblade + Alcatraz + Le Château d’If + Fort Boyard + Robben + Cabrera Island - Majorque + Langholmen + Spike + Île du Levant + Sainte-Marguerite + Rottnest + Tabarca + Île de Brescou + Château du Taureau + Goree + Salvation Islands: Devil's, St Joseph's and Royale + Isla de San Simón + Isola delle Femmine + Drakes Island + Spitbank Fort + Mogodar + Devil's Island for his 22nd escape
2006 Steven Black (Robben + Spike + Alcatraz)
2006 Joe Donnelly (Robben + Spike + Alcatraz)
2006 Mike Harris (Robben + Spike + Alcatraz)
2006 Ossie Schmidt (Cockatoo Island + + Spike Alcatraz + Robben for his 4th break
2006 John Conroy (Cockatoo Island + Spike + Alcatraz + Rottnest for his 4th break
2006 Ned Denison (Spike + Alcatraz + Santa Cruz+ Robben + Rottnest + Île du Levant + Sainte-Marguerite + Île de Brescou +Le Château d’If +Salvation Islands: Devil's, St Joseph's and Royale + Long Island + Devil's Island for his 12th break
2009 Jennifer Hurley (Alcatraz + Rottnest + Spike)
2010 Kieron Palframan (Robben + Alcatraz + Rottnest)
2010 Ryan Stramrood (Robben + Alcatraz + Rottnest)
2009 Ram Barkai (Robben + Rottnest + Alcatraz + Rottnest + Spike for his 4th break
2011 Gary Emich (Alcatraz + Rottnest + Spike + Robben for his 4th break
2012 Ram Barkai (Robben + Alcatraz + Rottnest + Spike for his 4th break
2014 Nick Glendinning (Robben + Alcatraz + Spike)
2014 Helen Gibbs (Spike + Rottnest + Alcatraz)

The list shows the Islands, in order that they were swum. The year denotes the completion of the Triple Break.

Escape from Spike Island[edit]

Escape from Fort Royal de Sainte-Marguerite[edit]


1.3 km swimming escape from the Fort Royal de Sainte-Marguerite to Palm Beach in Cannes, France by Ned Denison, Jean-Yves Faure and Jacques Tuset escorted by Jean-Christophe Grand.

2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year[edit]

Jacques Tuset's effort for his Prison Island Swims is nominated for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year.

"With so many iconic venues to choose from, Jacques Tuset has swum across channels and lakes throughout Europe to showcase his talents. From Lac Léman in France to Kalamata in Greece, he has proven himself over and over again. But he has found his niche in the Prison Island Swims where he leads the world in escaping from the famed prison islands to the nearby shorelines. Encouraged by its originator Ned Denison, Tuset is on his way to complete all the Prison Island Swims with Alcatraz Island (USA), Le Château d’If (France), Fort Boyard (France), Île de Gorée (Senegal), Robben Island (South Africa), Spike Island (Ireland), Rottnest Island (Australia) and Fort Royal de Sainte-Marguerite (France) done and checked off. For his focus on a unique niche within the open water swimming world, for his enthusiastic and joyful promotion of these Prison Island Swims, Jacques Tuset’s Prison Island Swims is a worthy nominee for the 2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year."

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2014 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year Nominees[edit]

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.)

2016 WOWSA Awards Nomination[edit]

The Prison island swims were nominated for the 2016 WOWSA Awards, a recognition of outstanding men, women, performances and offerings around the globe sponsored by the World Open Water Swimming Association in the category of World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

Very few swims grab the imagination more that escaping from a Prison Island. The Triple Break, a bucket list coined by Ned Denison, has taken off with the help and enthusiastic embracing of Jacques Tuset who has completed 21 breaks around the world. With their encouragement and promotion, other swimmers can now identify, organize and attempt aquatic escapes from former and current (!) prison islands to nearby shorelines. What started off with Alcatraz Island, Spike Island and Robben Island has now expanded to over 30 dramatically exotic Breaks around the world. For completely transforming prison islands with horrific histories to beautiful locations for enjoyable solo swimming challenges, for identifying and promoting many more places around the world to attempt extreme swims of relatively short distances, for opening up swimmer's creativity in viewing previously unavailable channel swimming opportunities, the concept of Prison Island Swims is a worthy nominee for the 2016 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year.

External links[edit]