Sunday, August 23, 2009

Strait From San Francisco To Spain To Morocco

Swimming World Magazine carried a report on 17-year-old Stewart Goossens' successful crossing of the 14.4K Strait of Gibraltar between Spain and Morocco.

Stewart's effort was his way to support the Marine Mammal Center located north of the Golden Gate Bridge.


Anonymous said...

Swimming the strait from Spain to Morocco, is a dreadful activity to do.

Many thousands of Moroccan and African people die each year attempting to swim this section from Morocco to Spain.

To undertake this activity for fun or achievement puts others at risk, by showing them that it can be done.

Of course, what these people don't realise is all the hard intensive training that the professional swimmers have had to undergo to be fit enougth to attempt the crossing.

Please encourage other professional swimmers to find alternative crossings to that has less impact on other people.

Thank you

Steven Munatones said...

We are very sorry to hear of this situation. We are not familiar with the great number of Moroccan/African people trying to flee their current living situation by crossing the Strait of Gibraltar.

This reminds us of when Cubans tried to flee their situation to swim to Florida - a much, much longer and more treacherous stretch of water.

There are many other borders where immigrants from one region of the world cross borders - at their personal peril - to another country or region. We believe that people consider many more personal factors (including economic, political and family situations) when making these life-altering situations rather than the actions of a handful of foreign endurance athletes who are always escorted by boats and support personnel who are then escorted back to Spain via boat. That is, these immigrants talk to others in their own country and make plans in their own languages before setting off in the ocean.

We believe it is their peers, colleagues, family, friends - and the local press - who have a greater influence over their decisions than foreign swimmers who occasionally cross the Strait.

Our mission is to celebrate human physical and psychological endeavors and achievements in the open water all over the world.

Movies like Welcome (see our March 28, 2009 article) document this plight of immigrants who try to flee one country for another over a body of water.