The Dead Sea is quickly shrinking, and to bring some awareness to the issue a group of 26 people attempted and completed the first ever 10.5 mile swim across it.
There are two different reasons why the swim is considered a dangerous one. For one thing the sea is extremely high in salt and there are concerns about what happens to the body when one spends an extended amount of time soaking in the minerals. For another thing the sea is located along the politically sensitive border between Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan.
The swimmer started in Jordan and swam the length of the sea in seven hours, arriving in Israel. One of the swimmers was Kim Chambers, a marathon swimmer from New Zealand who lives in San Francisco.
“We did something that no one thought we could do. But the Dead Sea deserves our attention. That’s why we had to do something as crazy as this.”
The swim was the idea of the local government and EcoPeace Middle East, with the idea to raise awareness of the sea’s rapidly declining water level. The sea’s radius has been declining more than three feet each year, and sinkholes have been popping up that are affecting the area by ruining nearby roads and fields. The sea is also the third most popular tourist spot after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.