Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Historic Attempt to Swim Georgia Strait Supports Clean Water

Historic Attempt to Swim Georgia Strait Supports Clean Water

Since 1966 many people have attempted to swim the 35km Georgia Strait crossing. It’s longer than the English Channel swim by approximately three kilometers, and only a few have succeeded, among them MP Fin Donnelly.

“BC has such incredible waters for swimming, and there are so many threats facing them now,” she says. “I’ve been inspired in swimming and conservation by other great long-distance swimmers like Lynne Cox and Fin Donnelly. If my swim inspires anyone else to help protect our waters in Canada or anywhere else, I’ll be happy.” Photo courtesy of Rachel Schoeler

On Aug. 3, 2014, Fraser Riverkeeper conservationist Rachel Schoeler will make a historic attempt at this crossing, starting at Neck Point (near Nanaimo) and ending in Sechelt.

Rachel, 23, is a dedicated open-water swimmer and she's been training for her big swim for the past 10 months. Success will make her only the second woman in history to complete the crossing, and the first woman to do so in more than 40 years. (The last was in 1972, by a nurse named Fran Cannon).

Her training to date has included marathon laps at Hillcrest Pool in her Vancouver neighborhood of Mt. Pleasant, as well as cold-water training in the ocean starting in April. She is now working on the finer points of staying alive for 11 hours in frigid ocean, including experiments with oily goop to cover her skin (a mix of Vaseline and lanolin) and figuring out how to eat while afloat.

“Eating while you’re treading water is not as easy as it sounds,” she says. “And the whole swim will be pretty tough. Hopefully conditions are good and I make it across. If I do, when I hit the beach I’m probably just going to lay down. Then I’m going to eat. A lot.” 

On Aug. 3, 2014, Fraser Riverkeeper conservationist Rachel Schoeler will make a historic attempt at this crossing, starting at Neck Point and ending in Sechelt. Photo courtesy of Rachel Schoeler

Rachel works for the conservation charity Fraser Riverkeeper part of the international Waterkeeper Alliance headed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. She has dedicated her swim, and any donor funds, to the group’s advocacy work on water-quality issues in British Columbia. Currently the group is asking donors to sponsor 100 meters of Rachel’s swim for a $50 donation.

An Ontario native, Rachel fell in love with open-water swimming during summers at her family’s cabin on Lake Steinburg. She moved to British Columbia in 2008 to study at the University of British Columbia, and has since made British Columbia her home.

“BC has such incredible waters for swimming, and there are so many threats facing them now,” she says. “I’ve been inspired in swimming and conservation by other great long-distance swimmers like Lynne Cox and Fin Donnelly. If my swim inspires anyone else to help protect our waters in Canada or anywhere else, I’ll be happy.”

 

A "trash tsunami" has washed ashore on the beaches of Honduras, endangering both wildlife and the local economy.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Long-finned pilot whales are seen during a 1998 stranding in Marion Bay in Tasmania, Australia. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

More long-finned pilot whales were found stranded today on beaches in Tasmania, Australia. About 500 whales have become stranded, including at least 380 that have died, the AP reported. It is the largest mass stranding in Australia's recorded history.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A protest in solidarity with the Wetʼsuwetʼen's anti-pipeline struggle, at Canada House in Trafalgar Square on March 1, 2020 in London, England. More than 200 environmental groups had their Facebook accounts suspended days before an online solidarity protest. Ollie Millington / Getty Images

Facebook suspended more than 200 accounts belonging to environmental and Indigenous groups Saturday, casting doubt on the company's stated commitments to addressing the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
The Västra Hamnen neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, runs on renewable energy. Tomas Ottosson / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Harry Kretchmer

By 2030, almost a third of all the energy consumed in the European Union must come from renewable sources, according to binding targets agreed in 2018. Sweden is helping lead the way.

Read More Show Less
An Extinction Rebellion protester outside the Bank of England on Oct. 14, 2019 in London, England. John Keeble / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

In another win for climate campaigners, leaders of 12 major cities around the world — collectively home to about 36 million people — committed Tuesday to divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in a green, just recovery from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch