Lowest Swim in the World - The Dead Sea, 15 November 2016
On 5 December last year, Madswimmer broke the world record of the highest altitude swim on Mt Tres Cruces in Chili, swimming in 1°C water at an altitude of 5915m above sea level. On 15 November this year the team will complete part two of this challenge – as they aim to take part in a World record-breaking swim across the Dead Sea from Jordan to Israel. The Madswimmer team will travel from Jerusalem on the world’s lowest road, Highway 90, at 393 m (1,289 ft) below sea level and will then swim the lowest swim in the world – more than 500m below sea level.
The swim, which stretches over 16km between the widest points of the Dead Sea, will start in Jordan and end in Israel. With water at a temperature of around 22 degrees in November – and a salt content 10 times that of the normal ocean – the team are in for what could be a fairly uncomfortable swim! The viscosity of the water due to the mineral content will also create a much more difficult passage.
Madswimmer is joining forces with an international group, as well as an Israeli swim team. The international team is swimming for the benefit and awareness of the Dead Sea itself and will incorporate swimmers from Jordan and Israel. Madswimmer will also make this awareness known, however their charity will remain 100% the sponsorship of underprivileged children in Africa.
The team will undergo intensive training on the 11 and 12 June, in Cape Town – with worldwide hydrotherapy expert, Ori Sela. Ori is the founder and owner of Water World and WEST swimming technique. He has over 30 years’ experience as a professional swimmer, open water coach and qualified Hydrotherpist.
Madswimmer is a South African non-profit company that was founded by Jean Craven in 2009 after he won a R100 000 wager to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar, connecting Europe to Africa. Feeling bad at taking betting money from friends, the team decided to donate the money to charity and Madswimmer was born. Since then Madswimmer has successfully completed all 6 recognised intercontinental swims as well as various other open water swims - all in aid of charity. Among them was swimming between Russia and Alaska (5.5km, 1h, 3.3°C swim), crossing Lake Tanganyika (38km, 12h swim), crossing the Swahili Channel, Zanzibar to Tanzania (33km, 9h swim) and swimming Lewis Tarn, the highest lake in Africa on Mt Kenya (4800m above sea level).
Since that first swim, Madswimmer has raised more than US $450 000 for various charitable causes, all intended to inspire hope and enable opportunity in children’s lives. The Tres Cruces swim alone enabled Madswimmer to raise $150 000 for 11 children charities in South Africa. With the November 2015 Zwahili Channel Swim, Madswimmer raised $10 000 for the Tumaini La Maishi, the children's cancer refuge centre in Tanzania. Madswimmers’ 24 Hour swimathon in January 2016 raised $4200 for the Lonely Road Foundation, money that will help to build a creche for orphaned and vulnerable children in the rural community of Ga-Dikgale, Limpopo and their latest swim, crossing the Van Der Kloof dam, raised $2700 in aid of #swim4sadie, a Rare Diseases SA childrens charity.