After raising more than R4 million for various charities at the 2019 aQuellé Midmar Mile, the 8 Mile Club is venturing into wilder waters.
Assisted by Roving Reporters and other supporting partners, the 8 Mile Club is arranging a pilot swim along a 22 km stretch of the Wild Coast earmarked for heavy minerals mining by an Australian mining company. This stretch of coastline falls within the Pondoland Marine Protected Area (MPA) and comprises a host of pristine estuaries and unique coastal habitats - home to many people whose lives could be adversely affected by heavy minerals mining if it goes ahead as planned.
The mission of The Wild Swim is to raise funds for eco-tourism in the area and marine conservation initiatives within the Pondoland MPA. The fundraising effort is being driven by the Kydrin Foundation in association with the 8 Mile Club. The beneficiaries are Africa!Ignite and Sustaining the Wild Coast (eco-tourism); WildOceans (marine conservation) and Roving Reporters associated environmental journalism training programme.
For safety reasons the pilot swim has been restricted to eight open water swimmers who will be accompanied by safety kayakers, two safety boats, a jetski rescue operator and a small pod of experienced Ocean Guardian divers equipped with Freedom7 shark shields – the world’s only scientifically proven electrical shark deterrent. Associated aerial surveillance and HD drone footage is to be provided by renowned adventure sports cameraman and safety officer, Gordon Date, who is directing the safety team in association with Med-Evac, the NSRI and SAPS.
The pilot swim is scheduled to take place in five stages between April 26 - May 2, with swimming only taking place in favourable and clear sea conditions.
Accommodation is to be provided to the swimmers and the safety team at community-owned homestays along the route.