Swimming champion Merle Liivand broke the record for the farthest distance swim with a monofin.
With this achievement, she hopes to bring attention to an issue of greater urgency: ocean plastic pollution.
According to Guinness World Records, Liivand, originally from Estonia, completed the historic 26.22-mile swim off the coast of Miami Beach in just 11 hours and 54 minutes on May 7.
The professional swimmer said, “Swimming with the monofin without using my arms is similar to how dolphins and marine animals swim. They have a fin and can’t use any arms.”
As reported by the organization, Liivand set the previous record for the farthest swim with a monofin on three separate occasions.
She began 2019 with a swim of 6.2 miles off Redondo Beach, Calif., then in 2020 swam 12.8 miles off of South Point Park Pier in Miami, and again on April 17, 2021, with an 18.6 mile swim near Miami Beach.
In addition to her records, the former Baltic champion uses her big Swimming to save the ocean from pollution.
Liivand told the organization, “I was born with auto-immune health problems, and I started swimming because my lungs collapsed. Today, I intend to fight for Mother Earth’s lungs.”
The marine conservationist picked up various pieces of trash and threw them into the kayak, paddling alongside her during her swim last month.
She said, “Humans should take a moment to understand that we need to use less plastic or make sure that we clean up any trash on the ground.”
The swimmer added, “We must ensure that we’re all healthy. Healthy humans mean a healthy planet.”