Swimming for the environment seems to becoming more fashionable these days. After British swimmer Lewis Gordon Pugh led the way yesterday with a 1 km swim across the frigid Arctic waters (-1.8°C) to raise awareness about climate change, former Lithuanian triathlete Vidmantas Urbonas is looking to call attention to the Baltic Sea's deteriorating condition by becoming the first person to swim across it.
His swim will begin on July 22 in Kalmar, Sweden, and will end in Pavilosta, Latvia, almost 130 miles away (209 km). It could last as long as 8 days, depending on the weather, or as little as 4-5 days if he chooses to swim non-stop. "I'm not doing it just to prove I can swim across the sea. With the swim I want to draw the attention of people around the sea to its condition, which is catastrophic," he said. He plans on splitting the swim into three separate legs: the first 7 km leg will take him from Kalmar to the island of Oland, the second 57 km leg will take him to Gotland, and the final 145 km leg will bring him to Pavilosta.The Baltic Sea, one of the most polluted in the world, has a water temperature ranging from 14°C to about 16°C. To protect himself from the cold, Urbonas plans on wearing a thicker swimming outfit and special ointments on his skin. His swimming regimen will be very unforgiving: two hours of sleep a day and stops every hour only to drink tea and energy drinks.
Via ::Reuters: Lithuanian plans Baltic Sea swim for environment (news website)