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 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 and 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 in a choppy, rain-swept New York Harbor. He took 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 to remember 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."
 
A native of Slovenia, a small nation near Italy, Austria and Croatia, Strel now 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, who Strel said 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" - 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, he said with a laugh, blood-thirsty piranhas "are OK" - but partially because those on the support boat poured buckets of blood into the Amazon 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 (38)
  • lucasd-3-bar
    9/30/2015 - 07:02 p.m.

    The fact that he is swimming around the worlds and announces it lets everyone know about it, and while he does that, he informs everyone about water pollution. †his was super cool! I doubt anyone else would be able to do that. And i don't like the ocean. i wish him good luck!

  • collinf-2-bar
    9/30/2015 - 07:31 p.m.

    Martin's big swim will raise awareness of pollution because people who watch it will also be informed about pollution.

    I was surprised that he would be brave enough to swim in rivers with piranhas.

  • gabriellek-1-bar
    9/30/2015 - 07:35 p.m.

    Martin's "big swim" will raise awareness of pollution because it will draw attention to the increasing aquatic pollution. I found this article interesting because I have heard of people swimming from Catalina Island to the South Bay. I thought that was a far swim after going to Catalina on a boat. This is surprising because Martin is going to swim 10,000 miles to raise awareness for aquatic pollution.

  • allyb-ver
    10/01/2015 - 06:04 p.m.

    This is so awesome, I wish I could swim around the world. swimming around the world you would be stopping in so many countries and meeting new cultures. This is very dangerous and for a 60 year old man to do its very shocking and impressed that he is up for the challenge.

  • lukep-6-bar
    10/01/2015 - 08:01 p.m.

    63-year old martin Strel has announced that he is going to swim a 10,000 miles around the globe. On may 22 he will start his long voyage around the world in long beach California and is planning to be finished in about 450 days.

  • oliviav-1-bar
    10/01/2015 - 08:03 p.m.

    When Martian announced his big swim people wanted to help clean all ocean water because Martian informs people about pollution. I think this is a cool article and more people should help fix ocean pollution.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    10/01/2015 - 08:06 p.m.

    I think that it is amazing how Martin Strel swam through many tough rivers and voyages. He also went on a trip to swim for the ten thousand around the globe journey. His goal is to sail the world around four hundred-fifty days. I think that Martin Strel is very brave and is an excellent swimmer. He has done many dangerous and surprising things. I think that he is very talented in swimming and will accomplish many things.

  • billiem-1-bar
    10/01/2015 - 08:08 p.m.

    He will get a lot of peoples attention by taking on such a challenge. And he also has the support of many companies. I think this was intresting because It must be really hard to swim all the way around the world. He is strong, Brave, and very determined to raise awareness for pollution.

  • seans-2-bar
    10/01/2015 - 11:20 p.m.

    Martins 'Big Swim' will raise awareness for pollution because he will be swimming in very polluted areas, and point out how badly they are polluted. I thought this article was interesting because it would be an enormous endeavor to swim around the world.

  • aidanp-1-bar
    10/01/2015 - 11:51 p.m.

    MARTIN will were awareness by using the news. AS he starts and finishes his swim, he will be all over the news. As people see him and what he is supporting they will think about water pollution affecting there life. Most will not contribute but those that do will make a difference.

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