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San Nicolas Island

Quick Facts

(current through end of 2012)

Current through end of 2012.


No swim has ever been attempted to, from, or around San Nicolas Island, or between San Nic and any other island. Any swimmer who attempts a swim off San Nic will be swimming in uncharted waters.

The shortest island-to-mainland route is from west San Nic to Point Mugu, south of Oxnard (61 statute miles). Depending on the swimmer's expectations of prevailing winds and currents, two alternative routes would finish at Point Dume (64 miles) or Point Vicente (69 miles) - see map below.

Regardless of the chosen route, any successful swim from San Nic to the mainland would surely go down as one of the greatest in the history of marathon swimming - perhaps the greatest.

Inter-Island Routes. San Nicolas Island is so far off the mainland that it's actually closer to every other Channel Island than it is to the mainland (with the exception of San Miguel). To "test the waters" of a San Nic swim, a swimmer might consider the 28 statute mile swim between San Nic and Catalina.

The 22-mile circumnavigation of San Nic would also be an interesting first step (and would not require setting foot on the island).

Important Note: San Clemente Island is owned and operated by the United States Navy. It is the swimmer's responsibility to obtain the necessary permissions, approvals, and permits required to land on the island.

At least 30 days before the swim, the swimmer must provide evidence to the SBCSA that the Navy is aware of the swim, and is permitting it to take place. If this evidence is not provided, the SBCSA will not sanction the swim.