Swimmer becomes youngest to cross Kaiwi Channel

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — A California teen on vacation in Hawaii just became the youngest person to ever swim the treacherous Kaiwi Channel.

It took 15-year-old Edie Markovich about 14 1/2 hours to swim from Molokai to Oahu Monday.

She started her swim at 3:00 a.m. when it was still pitch black, and noticed something strange in the water shortly after.

“It’s a shark I’m done for this is it,” Markovich thought to herself. “Obviously that wasn’t the case but a pod of dolphins that night came to swim with me and that alleviated so much of my stress. I was like, the ocean is welcoming me into the swim and good luck and it was truly an amazing experience. They stuck around for about an hour or so it was really cool,”

Markowitz also saw humpback whales breaching.

“I’m expecting sharks and jellyfish not dolphins and whales,” Markovich said.

Bill Goding has been keeping records of the swimmers to cross the channel for years and says that Markovich is the youngest by five months. She has the 16th fastest recorded time at 14 hours 27 minutes.

42 men and 29 women have completed the feat in modern history.

“Being 15-years-old the mental aspect is pretty amazing that she did it, Goding said. “She did it without anybody accompanying her but a kayak and a boat. A lot of people have done this channel in a twosome or a threesome so mentally that’s nice to have someone swimming next to you but she was by herself the entire time out there. Give her a lot of credit for that,”

The Kaiwi Channel is one of the “Ocean’s Seven” swims, but Markovich says she only came to complete this swim because of its beauty.

“It was 10 times better than anybody can imagine and finishing the swim itself was amazing,”

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