70-year-old Nejib Belhedi To Swim 155 km Across the Sicilian Channel from Italy to Tunisia

70-year-old Nejib Belhedi To Swim 155 km Across the Sicilian Channel from Italy to Tunisia

Update 7/1/2022 What Happened from Start to Finish of Nejib Belhedi’s Swim Between Italy and Tunisia?

Nejib Belhedi has been quiet during the pandemic, but he has been training hard and relentlessly throughout the lockdowns and quarantines in Tunisia and around the world.

Back in 1995 as a 43-year-old, the former Tunisian special forces military officer and two-time WOWSA Award winner completed a 72 km solo marathon swim across the Sicilian Channel from Pantelleria, Italy to Kelibia, Tunisia. But Belhedi has an even bigger dream in 2022 as a 70-year-old swimmer.

His upcoming Mediterranean Sea swim from Italy to Tunisia is supported by the State of Tunisia and the Ministry of Sport, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, and the Governorate of Sousse. The organizers include La Société d’Etudes et de développement Sousse Nord and Hasdrubal Thalassa Yasmine Hammamet.

My departure will be from the deep ravine of the Sicilian Channel behind in southeast Pantelleria Island at the Italian – Tunisian marine boundary. My finish point 155 km away will be Yasmine Hammamet at Hasdrubal Beach. I think my unassisted crossing in either June or July 2022 will be no less than 60 hours. My overall message of the marathon swim is very clear, ‘Yes the Dream of Tunisia is possible!’. One of the most sensitive issues of this vision is the illegal immigration of youth who cross the Mediterranean Sea while putting their lives in danger. The swim course from Italy to Tunisia  – and specifically not from Tunisia to Italy – is specifically expressive of this vision and embracing Tunisia as tourist destination. This marathon swim is supported by Tunisia and different sponsors. Safety and protection will be ensured by the Tunisian Sea Army, the Coast Guard, and the Civil Protection Agency with escort boats, the mothership Valentin   with the L’Ancora as our reserve under the navigation of escort pilot Chokri Ettaib.

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