Turkish swimmer forced to abandon race due to jellyfish stings


Turkish marathon swimmer Bengis Avç, nicknamed “Ocean Girl,” was stung by multiple jellyfish during the final leg of her 45-kilometre race, forcing her to abandon her attempt to swim across the Molokai Channel.


Avcı, who aims to become the first Turkish woman to complete the Ocean Seven Challenge (the seven most difficult open water swims in the world), began her trek from Kepuhi Bay on Molokai Island.

Avcu steadily increased his tempo with powerful strokes as he approached the finish line. During this final push, with his one to two hours of swimming remaining and land visible on the horizon, Avju encountered the first of several Portuguese soldier jellyfish, also known as box jellyfish. did. She continued swimming, determined to finish the race, but she was then stung multiple times in quick succession. In her last encounter, said to be the most intense, Avcu was forced to switch to her backstroke, and she ultimately abandoned her swim and boarded a support boat.

Thankfully, she was seen by a doctor and was reported to be in good health. Although her Molokai strait conquest remains unfinished, she holds the title of being the first and only Turkish woman to conquer all four straits within the Ocean Seven Challenge. Avju remains focused on his goal and says, “The ocean is not our natural habitat, it belongs to these creatures. This is part of the nature of this sport. I will continue to fight, and I will once again I’m sure there’s a chance.”

Avcu’s impressive 12-hour swim mirrors the struggle depicted in the biopic Nyad, which ultimately ended with an encounter with marine life.


Avju aims to swim in the North Strait later this year and attempt the Tsugaru Strait crossing in early 2025.

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