Limbless swimmer Philippe Croizon links continents

French amputee swimmer Philippe Croizon (R), and his friend swimmer Arnaud Chassery, celebrate after swimming between islands in the icy Bering Strait on 18 August 2012 Philippe Croizon said he wanted to be an inspiration to other disabled people

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A Frenchman who lost all his limbs in an electrocution accident has completed a swim to link five continents.

Using tailor-made flippers, Philippe Croizon finished his quest by crossing between the US island of Little Diomede and Great Diomede in Russia, joining Asia and the Americas.

The 44-year-old has swum three other straits since May.

Reaching shore, he said the icy waters had been a challenge.

"This was the hardest swim of my life, with a water temperature of four degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) and strong currents," he told AFP news agency. "We made it."

He swam the 4.3km (2.7 miles) stretch in the Bering Strait in one hour and 20 minutes, accompanied by friend and long-distance swimmer Arnaud Chassery.

Mr Croizon said he hoped to be an encouragement to other disabled people.

"I tell them: 'Everything is possible, everything can be done when you have the will to go beyond yourself'. We're all equal, disabled and non-disabled people on all continents," he said, according to AFP.

In past months he has swum between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to link Oceania with Asia, across the shark-infested Red Sea to link Africa to Asia, and across the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa.

He had the amputations after an accident on a roof in 1994, when a high-voltage power cable discharged through a metal ladder he was standing on.

Map showing location of Diomede islands

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