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U.S. Jet Skiers Recross Bering Strait After Chukotka Detention

Expedition leader Steven Moll says officials will take the team to visit hot springs before an attempt to recross the Bering Strait in this video shot Tuesday.




A group of six Americans who spent five days under guard in Chukotka after riding jet skis across the Bering Strait as part of a reality show have been released and are traveling to Alaska.

A day after local authorities said the men would be allowed to leave, a website showing the team's position via a GPS tracking system indicated that the men had made it across the strait by midday and were hugging the coastline on their way south to Nome, where they are set to regroup and decide on further plans.

In a video message posted by team media manager Chad Dalbec on Tuesday, the men sounded upbeat, saying that local officials had decided to take them to visit hot springs to "warm their bones," and that they would attempt to recross the Bering Strait the following day.

Moll's wife, Annette, told the Sacramento Bee that she learned about the group's release by text message and that they seemed excited and not scared. "They're anxious to get going," she said.

The men had originally planned to continue south to Vietnam after arriving in Chukotka, but shortly after reaching the Russian coast Friday, the men were met by a tank and armed men. They were told they had illegally entered the Chukotka region, which requires special permissions in addition to a Russian visa, and that they would have to leave the country.

The men have decided to follow a backup plan and cross the Northwest Passage in a bid to make it to Iceland and Greenland, Dalbec said. The group eventually plans to circumnavigate the globe on jet skis as part of a seven-year trek to be chronicled for their reality show, called Dangerous Waters.

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