Antarctica, 30th January: The Chilean ice-water swimmer, Bárbara Hernández, is currently on an expedition to Antarctica to undertake the longest swim ever done by a person to raise awareness for the need to protect Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.
Calling world leaders to act to ensure the conservation of the ocean and the continent, Hernández will defy nature by swimming more than 1000 meters in just a swimsuit, in the Southern Ocean in temperatures below 1°C, without a neoprene suit or protective grease. During the expedition that is supported by the Chilean Navy, the swimmer will visit the Antarctic Peninsula and the Chilean Antarctic research bases on King George Island, among others. She will record the experience in a documentary piece, highlighting the value of Antarctica’s territory and its wildlife.
With the support of the Antarctic Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC), and following in the footsteps of extreme swimmer Lewis Pugh, Bárbara Hernández is urging through this swim the international body responsible for protection of the Southern Ocean – the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)- to support the creation of new marine protected areas in its waters.
Chile and Argentina are co-proponents of a marine protection proposal in the Antarctic Peninsula, the same place where Hernández will attempt her extreme swimming challenge.
Hernández just recently joined Antarctica2020, a group made up of leaders from the world of politics, science, media, and sports who are working together to promote protection of Antarctica’s waters. It includes prominent personalities such as oceanographer Sylvia Earle, South African extreme swimmer and United Nations Patron of the Oceans Lewis Pugh, Philippe Cousteau, grandson of oceanographer Jacques Cousteau and actor and activist Pamela Anderson.
“It is such an honor to swim in this most amazing part of the world and be part of Antarctica2020, which is campaigning for such an important cause. I see the changes happening in our ocean, and I hope through this swim, I can inspire people to take action to protect this magical area,” said Bárbara Hernández.
“Thanks to Bárbara’s strength, courage, and determination, the world is being alerted to the urgency of protecting this last pristine place on the planet. We also need the political courage from world leaders to act now,” said Claire Christian, Executive Director of the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition.
To keep up with the latest updates of the swim, visit our Antarctic Ocean Challenge webpage.