Merle Liivand's Day In Miami

Merle Liivand’s Day In Miami

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Merle Liivand broke her own world record by completing a 30 km Mermaid Swim in 9 hours 19 minutes on April 17th in the choppy waters of Miami Beach, Florida. It was her third consecutive record-setting swim after her initial 10 km Mermaid Swim in Redondo Beach, California in 2 hours 54 minutes in 2019 and her 6 hour 8 minute 20.6 km Mermaid Swim in South Point Park Pier in Miami in 2020.

The 30-year-old celebrated her birthday with her escort crew and many supporters, but it was not all joy in her immediate orbit after her record-breaking swim. “[Marine pollution] affects me that I cry and I am angry. I go outside and clean it…it is hurtful. We rely on clean water. I have seen more masks and gloves in the ocean now.

When we had the lockdown in April, I started seeing more masks and things and it was a wake-up call for me. We are already fighting with microplastic and we were already fighting with pollution in the ocean. It frustrated me.

Our oceans suffer from the fast-paced warming and as an open water swimmer, I can tell you that the effects are here. More and more sharks are moving closer to shore and more plastic ends up in sea animal’s stomachs. I am working on something to bring more attention to this issue.”

Mayor Dan Gelber proclaimed Merle Liivand Day on April 17th with the following Proclamation by The City of Miami Beach:

  • Whereas, Merle Liivand is an Estonian competitive swimmer, international swim champion, model, “aquapreneur”, SWIMERA CEO, Ocean Ambassador, Triathlete, International Spokesperson and deeply committed ocean cleanup activist who has lived in South Florida since 2011; and
  • Whereas, Merle is a role model to many, having overcome adversity to win her first Estonian championships at age 12 one day after suffering a head injury that required stitches, and later in her career winning two silver medals in the World Ice Swimming Championship; and
  • Whereas, in addition to currently holding the 10,000 and 20,000 kilometer [sic] in records in Mermaid Monofin, which entails swimming without use of your arms, Merle is bringing her same trademark athletic talent and force of will to bear now by being the first person ever to swim 30,000 kilometers [sic] using this technique; and
  • Whereas, this athletic achievement is the latest in Merle’s long record of environmental activism, having previously organized previous record-setting swims to bring media and public attention to the impact pollution and climate change have on the planet, in addition to her current collaboration with local businesses and organizations for sustainability efforts here in our own community.
  • Now therefore, do I, as Mayor of the City of Miami Beach, hereby proclaim APril 17, 2021 Merle Liivand Day in the City of Miami Beach.

Copyright © 2008 – 2021 by World Open Water Swimming Association

Steven Munatones