The AP said Figge swam from the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa to Trinidad (2,100 miles) in 25 days while escorted by a boat. She was said to have rested every night, and got back in the water in the morning The story fell apart within days and has been exposed as a hoax.
A calculator and a little fact-checking would have prevented Danico Coto from falling for the hoax:
.... The real issue stemmed from the fact that swimming 2,100 miles in 25 days is impossible. (Some newspapers picked up on this.) It's infinitely more impossible when somebody only spends 21 minutes swimming during one of those 25 days. Michael Phelps swimming his fastest would take about 20 days to cover that distance. And that's his fastest pace, sustained for three weeks, without ever stopping. Impossible.See the original AP report by Danico Coto here. Red-faced correction by the AP here. Apparently now employed by the AP, Coto worked at the Charlotte Observer for 5 years. At the Charlotte Observer she focused on immigration and helped create the Observer's first Spanish language web site. Awesome.
Yet, somehow, the AP ran the story even though a few seconds of thought and a pocket calculator was enough to disprove it.