Lynne Cox, an American, was the first woman to complete a crossing of Cook Strait. She swam from north to south on 4 February 1975 in a time of 12 hours 2 minutes 30 seconds, battling heavy seas and strong winds. Twice during the swim the Cook Strait cargo ferry Aratika hove to alongside the swimmer to protect her from the wind. The ferry flew the American flag as another gesture of support.
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