Swim For The Bay

The Chloë McCardel long distance swim (approx 50km) is planned for October 28th starting at 5am from Mornington pier to West beach (just North of St Kilda Pier).
She will have a support crew of paddlers and boats. There will be a medic on board one of the boats as well as her coach.
It is estimated that Chloë will be in the water for 12 -14 hours straight.

Media Release - 17/10/2007

‘50km Swim to Save Port Phillip Bay’

What: International Open Water swimmer Chloë McCardel will brave 13oC waters in a 50km, 14 hour non-stop swim in Port Phillip Bay. She will be accompanied by a support crew, including paddlers and at least two boats all covered in red/wearing red/flying red as a sign of protest against the proposed Channel Deepening Project.  

Sunday October 28th, starting 5am and finishing approximately 7pm.

The swim will start at Mornington Jetty (Melways 104 D9) and follow the eastern coastline to finish at St Kilda Pier (Melways 2N G7).

Chloë McCardel says “I’m gravely concerned about Channel Deepening in Port Phillip Bay. The Bay is a great place to swim and a great source of income for many small businesses.  Channel deepening risks all of that.”

The Bay is the key to Melbourne’s liveability: a fantastic community resource, supporting a wide range of recreational, social, cultural and commercial interests.  Channel Deepening may begin as early as January 2008, causing irreparable harm. The community must call for Federal Government intervention to block Channel Deepening.”

Chloë in St Kilda, enjoying the Bay
Pic: Toby Richards

Dredging more than 3 million tonnes of contaminated sediments from the Yarra and dumping these in the Bay poses significant risks to beach-goers, marine life and Bay-related businesses. If Channel Deepening goes ahead this coming summer, a toxic plume from dredging Yarra sediments is likely to pollute beaches from Altona to Hampton.

Deepening of the channel at the Bay’s Entrance during the Trial Dredge program in 2005 has caused ongoing, uncontrolled erosion of the seabed. Continued erosion will change the hydrodynamics of the Bay. Altered tidal levels will cause erosion of beaches around the Bay and have negative impacts on seabirds and fish species in nearby Marine Parks.

Channel Deepening won’t bring significant long term economic benefits and will most likely be funded (around $1 billion) by the community.

Apart from the devastating effect on our precious and unique ecosystem, Chloë is concerned that hundreds of thousands of beachgoers whose health may be put at risk due to the toxic plume. Swimming races may as a result, have to be cancelled due to the dredging.

Chloë’s background: Chloë is training to represent Australia in 10km and 25km freestyle marathon swimming events. She started marathon swimming in January this year when she won the ‘Bloody Big Swim’ (from Frankston to Mornington). Since then she has won the Lake Argyle Swim in Kununurra (21km, May), and Magnetic Islands swim (8km, August) in Queensland. She was the first Australian swimmer in the Maui Channel swim (16km, September) and swam continuously for 40km to raise money for the Mirabel foundation in August.

Key Parties:
  • Swimmer: Chloë McCardel is an International Open Water swimmer who regularly swims in the bay (including over winter)
  • Co-organisers: Blue Wedges Coalition
  • Support Crew: Gary Ireland, Chloë’s feeder and coach and former Australian Ironman Team Coach, paddlers, a support boat, an inflatable rescue boat, a General Practitioner for medical assistance, and additional people on the boat for the entire swim. The swim will be monitored by the Coast Guard Police Helicopter.
Information about Channel Deepening issues:

Blue Wedges http://www.bluewedges.org

Media Interviews:
Chloë McCardel (swimmer)            0411 967 853
Dr Jo Samuel-King (Blue Wedges)  0406 528 874
Neil Blake (Blue Wedges)               0409 138 565
Media liaison on the day:
Land-based: Andrew King              0409 662 438
Boat-based: Toby Richards             0425 735 560

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