Man plans to swim around the world Martin Strel is greeted by his daughter Nina after completing his "Clean Water Swim" from the Statue of Liberty to Manhattan's North Cove Marina, operated by Island Global Yachting, on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015, in New York, N.Y. (Stuart Ramson/Invision for Martin Strel/AP Images)
Man plans to swim around the world
Lexile

Martin Strel swims with a knife strapped to his right leg. It is in case he encounters sharks, "vampire" fish and other deadly marine life in the world's wildest waters.
 
The 60-year-old marathon swimmer has announced the toughest feat of his life. It is a 10,000-mile, around-the-world voyage on water. He wants to draw public attention to increasing aquatic pollution.
 
"And for peace and love," Strel added in his native Slovenian language.
 
He aims to circle the globe in about 450 days. He will start in Long Beach, California, on March 22. He will pass through oceans, rivers, canals and other bodies of water in more than 100 countries. He'll swim about 5 to 12 hours each day. That depends on the weather and changing currents. An escort boat will offer emergency support and space for small breaks.
 
But first, Strel took a demonstration 2.2-mile dip. He went for a swim in a choppy, rain-swept New York Harbor. It took him 63 minutes to swim from the Statue of Liberty to a marina near the World Trade Center.
 
On the eve of the 9/11 terror attack anniversary, still in his wet suit, he bowed his head for a moment of silence. It was in remembrance of those who died in the complex that's now rising again.
 
Since 2000, Strel has swum the entire length of five rivers. They are the piranha-infested Amazon, the Danube in Eastern Europe, China's Yangtze, the Parana in South America and the Mississippi.
 
Those daring forays have earned him the nickname "Big River Man."
 
He is a native of Slovenia. It is a small nation near Italy, Austria and Croatia.  Now, Strel lives in Phoenix.
 
He's still finalizing details of his next big, multimillion-dollar adventure. It will include the Panama and Suez canals, the English Channel, the Amazon again as well as the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Red Sea.
 
Costs, including overnight accommodations, plus food and other supplies, will largely be organized by the Arizona-based TDG global marketing and branding firm.
 
Strel won't be alone in the water. He says he welcomes anyone who's interested to join him for stretches of the route. And that includes the president of Slovenia, Borut Pahor. Strel said the president was a fine swimmer. "We'll all be discussing ecology - like how to eliminate plastics from water."
 
How does he rate the Hudson River that flows past the World Trade Center?
 
"It's not especially clean. But it's not dangerous, except for the boats, maybe," he said, compared to what he called "the most dangerous fish on the planet."  It is the tiny candiru in South America that bores into every human cavity, from the mouth to the ears and nose, growing by feeding on human flesh and blood.
 
By comparison, Strel said with a laugh, blood-thirsty piranhas "are OK."   In his case, that was partially because those on the support boat poured buckets of blood into the Amazon. The blood was to draw the fish away after they attacked him.
 
As for sharks, Strel said they've left him alone as long as he swam in the same direction, without confronting them.
 
"I touch them and it's 'OK! I'm your friend.'"

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How will Martin’s “big swim” raise awareness of pollution?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (216)
  • chloek-zur
    9/30/2015 - 10:43 a.m.

    I think it will raise awareness because Martin has PROOF that the ocean has many beautiful sights.

    • ashlyj-war
      11/06/2015 - 08:38 a.m.

      I completely agree I think that people swimming with him or even if they see footage on the news, they will see how beautiful the ocean is. If they see how amazing and beautiful the ocean is, then they'll want to protect it.

  • colek-1-bar
    9/30/2015 - 07:00 p.m.

    Martin's "Big swim" will raise pollution awareness by people funding his trip and making them think about his challenges ahead: exhaustion, deadly animals, weather, and polluted waters. I thought this article was very cool and interesting. This article surprised me because it is an incredibly hard feat Martin has in front of him: he has to swim around the entire Earth.

    • tylerp-ree
      10/21/2015 - 08:08 a.m.

      I think that he will raise awareness of pollution because he can show everybody how dangerous it is. If he does not show everybody that it is dangerous nobody will no anything about it.

      • johnm-ree
        10/21/2015 - 12:51 p.m.

        I fully agree but if he doesn't show proof it does not that people will not stop caring.

  • Jason0421-YYCA
    9/30/2015 - 08:27 p.m.

    I think that it is amazing for Martin Strel to have made a plan to travel the world by swimming. I think that if Martin Strel is able to travel the world by swimming, not only will he be famous but the shoutout he did is certain. I hope that Martin Strel will have a successful trip.

  • ryan0420-yyca
    9/30/2015 - 08:58 p.m.

    I think thats crazy.There is only probably 30 percent that he is no going to finish. He will probably die. I think that he cant survive a shark because a small knife will not kill a shark. The sea creatures will probably eat him aNd I know he cant survive a pirahna school of fish but I think he is trying a new thing.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    9/30/2015 - 09:02 p.m.

    I think this is crazy because a man of his age should not be doing marathon swims. There are many health risks he may want to think about when attempting to swim across the globe. If Martin finishes, then he will be the first person to swim across the globe. It is very exciting.
    How will Martin’s “big swim” raise awareness of pollution?
    Answer: Martin's big swim will raise awareness of pollution by inviting people to swim a portion while talking about ecology.

  • John0724-YYCA
    9/30/2015 - 09:03 p.m.

    It might be kind of hard to do that and he would need company because he does have a knife to protect him but what if a group of sharks come to attack him. Then he would need more than a knife to protect him and also what if he feels tired and needs to sleep. He can't just sleep in the ocean because he could drown and die.

  • marisola-Orv
    10/01/2015 - 01:07 p.m.

    I think it is amazing that he is planing to swim around the world in 450 days i think that is impossible but Never Give up even if there are dangerous deadly animals i say Bring it on mother nature there's nothing you can throw at me that i can't handle !I WILL CHALLENGE ANY ONE WHO CHALLENGES ME TO A RUN!!!

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