Brooklyn swimmer tackles Gowanus Canal, risks health for clean water

Clean water advocate and Brooklyn swimmer Christopher Swain completed a 1.8-mile swim Saturday morning through some of the dirtiest water in the nation.

Swain swam the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn donned in a hazardous materials suit, earplugs and waterproof gloves. He also wore a swim cap with the message “#Hope” on it.

“I have ‘Hope’ written on my cap because I have hope that one day, this canal will be swimmable and entirely clean,” Swain told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

In swimming through the disgusting canal, Swain hopes to raise awareness to polluted waterways.

“They say I’m crazy, but I think it’s crazy that we let the Gowanus get to this point. We’re the greatest city in the world and we can't even cleanup a canal,” he said.

The canal is extremely dirty and has pathogens, bacteria, viruses, oil and dog poop.

Earth Day #Swim in the #GowanusCanal #2015 #swimwithswain #tbt

A photo posted by Christopher Swain, Swimmer (@swimwithswain) on

In January 2013, a dolphin was spotted swimming through the canal but the water was so dirty, rescue workers refused to enter it and the dolphin eventually died.

During Swain’s 72-minute swim, a rescue and research team followed him and monitored his heart rate.

The crew also did GPS tracking, water sampling and time-lapse photography, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Swain had tried the swim once before in April, but was forced to call it quits because it began to rain.

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