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Hell In High Waters: The Lynne Cox story

Updated: May 23, 2013, 11:15 AM ET
By Sarah Turcotte | ESPN The Magazine

Lynne Cox is having trouble communicating with the boat. The pounding of her heartbeat muffles the sound of the engine and the shouts of the crew. She can see their faces, though, and she knows it's not good. The Arctic water has numbed her skin; the tension in her lungs has shortened her breath. Her arms and legs, trying to propel her body through the slush, are flailing. The water was 28.8 degrees when she entered; it has since dropped to 26.6. The movement of the current is the only reason it hasn't frozen into a solid sheet of ice. She has lost track of time. No person is known to have survived falling off a boat in the Arctic Ocean near Greenland.

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