Swarm of Jellyfish Forces Neil Agius to Abandon 100-Mile Mallorca-Ibiza Swim

Swarm of Jellyfish Forces Neil Agius to Abandon 100-Mile Mallorca-Ibiza Swim

In a challenging turn of events, Neil Agius, an ultra-endurance athlete and advocate for clean seas, was compelled to abort his 100-mile crossing from Mallorca to Ibiza due to a swarm of jellyfish.

At 3:56 am on Tuesday, June 27, Agius made the difficult decision to halt his 100-mile swim endeavor after being stung by multiple jellyfish.

Agius encountered the swarm approximately 46 km into the swim, in the Mallorca-Ibiza channel, around 1 am.

“It is so sad to see all that hard work we put into this challenge came to such an end, I was feeling strong and ready to go the distance but fate had other plans.

This is the sport I have chosen that depends on so many variables- some we can be in control of, others unfortunately not. I would like to thank all of our supporters who were rooting for us and backed us up over the last 10 months.

The real challenge for ocean conservation still stands, I will be back.”

Neil Aguis

Despite enduring nearly four hours of stings and making several attempts to continue, Agius’s discomfort and swelling became too severe. Ultimately, he voluntarily chose to abandon the swim for his own safety.

Agius began his swim in Mallorca, Spain shortly after 9 am on Monday morning. The attempt was anticipated to last three days.

Agius achieved a 50-hour, 124 km swim from Linosa to Gozo in 2021 and received official certification from the Marathon Swimming Federation.

Climate Awareness Swim

Agius’s ambitious swim aimed to raise awareness and advocate for governments to commit to and effectively implement the United Nations Treaty of the High Seas.

Adopted in New York on June 19, the treaty establishes area-based management tools for ocean preservation, including marine protected areas, to safeguard and sustainably manage crucial habitats and species. Presently, only about one percent of the high seas are protected, according to the UN.

The agreement will be open for signature at the United Nations Headquarters in New York for two years starting from September 20, 2023, following the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals Summit. It will enter into force upon ratification by sixty States.

In recent weeks, Agius collaborated closely with Lewis Pugh, UN Patron of the Oceans and an endurance swimmer himself, who is a prominent advocate for the treaty. Agius also engaged with Roberta Metsola, President of the European Parliament, in his efforts to lobby governments and officials to ratify and initiate the implementation of the UN’s new regulations and partnered with the NGO Wave of Change Malta to raise community awareness and encourage individuals to embrace transformative actions.

The campaign revolves around three pillars, promoting lifestyle choices that foster change in living, dressing, and eating habits. These include adopting sustainable domestic practices such as energy efficiency and responsible water management, embracing sustainable fashion choices like clothing swaps and eco-friendly textiles, and prioritizing locally sourced, seasonal food while reducing red meat consumption.

Update: About Gratitude

Photo credits Neil Agius Facebook

Source: Malta Today