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.
This stretch of coastline falls within the Pondoland Marine Protected Area (MPA) and comprises a host of pristine estuaries and unique coastal habitats. The mission of The Wild Swim is to raise funds for eco-tourism and marine conservation initiatives within the Pondoland MPA. This fundraising effort is being driven by the Kydrin Foundation in association with the 8 Mile Club.
For safety reasons the pilot swim has been restricted to six open water swimmers who will be accompanied by three safety kayakers, two safety boats, a jetski and a small pod of experienced Ocean Guardian divers equipped with Shark shields. Associated aerial surveillance and HD drone footage is to be provided by renowned adventure sports cameraman and safety officer, Gordon Date. Our safety plan has been endorsed by Paul von Blerk, senior shark specialist at the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, as well as leading representatives of Aliwal Dive Charters and Marine Surf Lifesaving Club. The safety team is being directed by Medivac working in close association with Gordon Date and the NSRI.
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 (see map).
In supporting the endeavour, Roving Reporters aims to generate widespread publicity about communal life in the area and the history and significance of the Pondoland MPA.