56 year old woman becomes first to swim across the Atlantic

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Jennifer Figge from Aspen, Colorado, accomplished a feat never done before by a female: swim across the Atlantic Ocean.  A decade earlier French swimmer Benoit Lecomte made the first known solo-Atlantic swim from Massachusetts to France in 73 days.

Reaching a beach in Trinidad, she became the first woman on record to swim across the Atlantic Ocean — a dream she'd had since the early 1960s, when a stormy trans-Atlantic flight got her thinking she could don a life vest and swim the rest of the way if needed.

The 56-year-old left the Cape Verde Islands off Africa's western coast on Jan. 12, battling waves of up to 30 feet (9 meters) and strong winds.

David Higdon, a friend of Figge who kept in touch with her via satellite phone, said she had originally planned to swim the Bahamas, but inclement weather forced her to veer 1,000 miles (1,610 kms) off course to Trinidad, where she arrived on Feb. 5.

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