Oly Rush Completes Isle of Wight Circumnavigation Swim

Oly Rush Completes Isle of Wight Circumnavigation Swim

Oliver ‘Oly’ Rush completed a 96.6 km circumnavigation charity swim around the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England on August 22nd – 23rd in 15 hours 9 minutes, smashing the current wetsuit record held by Scott Dawson by over 10 hours. “My motivation is a shared love for the ocean and a passion to protect it from our convenient plastic-wrapped lifestyle. Plastic pollution is huge issue and we all need to take responsibility however hard that may be to stomach.

Rush set off to raise £5,000 to help continue ocean conservation efforts and fight against plastic pollution with Clean Jurassic Coast CIC and Oceans to Earth CIC. He is exceeding his goals; he is now nearing £9,000 in donations from nearly 300 supporters as he just completed the 96.6 km circumnavigation swim around the Isle of Wight on August 22nd – 23rd [see here].

Rush writes, “[I am] buzzing. [It was] an incredible success! The IOW circumnavigation competed in 15 hours 9 minutes. My motivation? Where to begin? To put it bluntly and get straight to the point…this planet is being destroyed by our convenient way of living. Plastic pollution (amongst many other factors) plays a huge part in its destruction and it is something we can all actively and practically help fight. The extent of the problem is almost incomprehensible. Unless we all work together, along with the powers that be….change the packaging, fishing methods, and learn to live with nature, rather than over-consuming at such an alarming rate then the future is looking bleak. Thankfully, so many people are waking up, joining the fight and dedicating huge parts of their lives to protecting this planet so that all life can flourish…not just humans. We share this planet, although sadly it seems that is often forgotten. This year I plan to continue my fight, and speak up for the voiceless, who are fighting just to stay alive. Most of you will have seen or know about the devastating impact plastic pollution, including discarded fishing gear is having on ocean life.”

Last year, Rush swam 100 km over 10 days to raise almost £10,000 for Clean Jurassic Coast CIC and Oceans to Earth CIC who he works with. “These guys are fighting tirelessly,” he wrote on his crowdfunding site here. “The Isle of Wight swim was a huge challenge for me and the awesome team involved.”

His aim was to break the existing wetsuit record of Scott Dawson who completed his swim in 2016 in 25 hours 56 minutes – which he did with 10 hours to spare. Dawson and yachtsman Brian Thompson served as his observers with Roy Beal of Clean Jurassic Coast supporting on his sea kayak.

His work isn’t over. “I also want to raise money for one of the hardest working beach cleaner and ocean activists I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting: Andrew Frost, ’Frosty’ from Turn The Tide Cornwall. Frosty is in need of a bigger boat to keep him safe along the unpredictable and rugged Cornish coastline where he clears unbelievable amounts of plastic and detritus. It will also help to fund the ongoing work at chapmans pool and other areas that I will continue with in the autumn and winter months.”

with Oliver Rush of Project Planet filmed by @leecooperphotography and @mattdixonphotography.

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Steven Munatones