Former South African national swimmer and conservationist, Sarah Ferguson is organising an open water swim on the Durban beachfront to celebrate World Oceans Day next week.
Ferguson says the event has 4 distances that would suit a range of swimmers – from those who have not done an open sea swim before, to more experienced swimmers.
Ferguson says it is the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19 that such an event can be held in Durban. After the closure of beaches during the COVID lockdown, there was also a chemical spill into the sea at Umhlanga during the 2021 looting and violence, followed by large scale sewage spills after last year’s floods.
Ferguson explains, “It also really drives home why we need to do these events and why we need to start protecting our oceans. And individuals need to take ownership of that, as well as, you know, municipalities, and councils, and things like that. It’s all together we can make a difference and make sure we keep our oceans clean; from pollution, from over-fishing. We can all do our bit by choosing to buy sustainable fishing or choosing to not buy disposable plastic, choosing to support causes which are trying to do their bit to protect our ocean.”
Ferguson, who is the founder of the non-profitable organisation Breathe Conservation, says their aim is to eliminate single use plastic.
“We’re not going to be selling coffee in disposable cups, we’re not going to have bottled water for sale. We’re giving all our swimmers a re-usable glass bottle from Consol – which is Ardagh Packaging, they’re the sponsors of the swim. And we’ll have water fountains where people can fill up their bottles. So, that’s just really showing swimmers and athletes how they can then take that forward in their day-to-day lives. And we’re hoping that it will just be a demonstration of how easy it is. You know, you don’t need to take a disposable cup. Just take your own cup.”