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
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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)
  • samanthas-1-ste
    10/01/2015 - 08:10 p.m.

    10,000 miles is a really long way, it almost sounds impossible. It is great that he is doing this to raise awareness for aquatic life.

  • leilanih-4-bar
    10/01/2015 - 08:48 p.m.

    Martins big swim will raise awareness of pollution because when he swims around the world he will see and we will see how bad the pollution is everywhere around the world. This will also help pollution because he is probably getting funded. I thought that this article was interesting because it just seems crazy that somebody would try to swim all the way across the world.

  • samuelh-3-bar
    10/01/2015 - 09:08 p.m.

    Swimmer Martin Strel will swim around the world to raise awareness to aquatic pollution. He is 60-year-old man who will cary a knife on his right leg to protect himself from the dangerous sea life. His nickname is "Big River Man," Lets hope he has a safe passage through the sea.

  • adamp-3-bar
    10/01/2015 - 10:53 p.m.

    Martin's big swim will raise awareness of pollution because he will have many people sponsor his swim so he will raise money for ocean pollution. Martin will also have to swim through some gnarly water and people will see how polluted the ocean actually is. This article doesn't surprise me but is interesting. It's not surprising because I have heard of people swimming very far before. It is interesting because he is bringing a knife with him which doesn't really make sense. Why does he have to kill an animal just so he can swim in their environment.

  • johnd-3-bar
    10/01/2015 - 11:45 p.m.

    His big swim will raise awareness because it will draw publicity for pollution. It will also show him going through polluted water.


    I found this interesting and want to find out more.

  • madelinew-1-bar
    10/02/2015 - 12:15 a.m.

    At one point in the story, he said that the Hudson River is not very clean, so I think that by swimming through those waters, people will finally take notice in how dirty the water really is. I like this article and hope I can see him start off his big adventure in Long Beach.

  • kevine-4-bar
    10/02/2015 - 12:29 a.m.

    Martins big swim will raise awareness of the pollution because it may be televised and people could see how dirty the water is around the world. If they see how dirty the water is at some parts of the world them may participate in beach clean ups or not pollute.

  • carsonk-2-bar
    10/02/2015 - 01:04 a.m.

    Martin's big swim will raise awareness of pollution by showing how polluted the ocean is from is findings. "He wants to draw public attention to increasing aquatic pollution." This articles surprised me that a 60 year old man would be willing to swim across the entire world! This is very interesting because if someone wants to swim around the world just to do it, but also for a good cause which in this case is the awareness of pollution, shows that some people care about the marine life out there and the water of our planet.

  • oscarb-1-bar
    10/02/2015 - 01:22 a.m.

    His big swim will raise awareness because he swims with all the marine life and if pollution isn't known to more people, the marine life can't survive with so much pollution.

  • carsonb-2-bar
    10/02/2015 - 01:23 a.m.

    The 60-year-old man is swimming 10,000 miles around the world. In addition to this, he has invited public figures to join him to talk about pollution in the ocean. The article said that the president of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, will join him. Public figures like President Pahor will get media attention and raise awareness of pollution.

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