"unescorted" marathon swimming
I've just read a piece of news about a swimmer who was reported "to try to swim from Dover to Calais alone" without an escort, which triggered a search-and-rescue operation.
We all know that this is a foolish thing to do because it's the English Channel, but, how about swimming unescorted elsewhere in general? Like Otto Kemmerich did in this life? He carried his own equipment in a bag, which always included a map, a compass and a watch (if done nowadays, probably mobile phones and GPS as well).
There is a related discussion on Slowtwitch. They think that English Channel swimmers should not call their swims unassisted because the escort is a huge assistance. Instead, they think "unassisted swimmers" are people who swim like Otto Kemmerich above, who carries everything he needed. They also think that English Channel swimming is done without a wetsuit because it wasn't invented at that time. They even tried to compare English Channel swimming and Otto Kemmerich which is actually harder.
For example, if I compare channel swimming with mountain climbing, I compare using wetsuit to using oxygen (to protect you from the elements), and using an escort to using a sherpa (to guide you to complete the journey).
This can be much more interesting than traditional channel swimming where you are escorted by a boat because "you are truly on your own", like an expedition, like hiking done on the water, and requires more careful planning as well. Can this become a new discipline in open water swimming other than traditional channel swimming as well?