Swimmer and founder of Breathe Conservation Sarah Ferguson will attempt to set a world record by becoming the first person to swim the perimeter of Easter Island. Her journey will cover more than 65km through cold water and dangerous currents, and the swim is estimated to take up to 24 hours to complete. Photo: Supplied
Cape Town – Former South African swimmer and founder of Breathe Conservation Sarah Ferguson will attempt to set a world record by becoming the first person to swim the perimeter of Easter Island.

Global non-profit organisations Plastic Oceans International and Breathe Conservation, dedicated to solving the plastic pollution problem, announced Ferguson’s “Swim Against Plastic: Easter Island”.

Ferguson said she would cover more than 65km through cold water and dangerous currents, and the swim was estimated to take up to 24 hours to complete.

This campaign to raise awareness of plastic pollution will include education and beach cleanups on Easter Island in March.

“This is a huge challenge, but my passion for ocean protection and rehabilitation is a strong driving force that fuels this dream.

‘‘It is our responsibility to protect the ocean, and I’m proud to partner with Plastic Oceans International on this campaign to fight the problem of plastic pollution,” she said.

Located in the South Pacific Ocean between Chile and New Zealand, Easter Island is a Unesco World Heritage Site.

It is Chilean territory and is considered the most remote inhabited island on the planet.

The waters surrounding the island contain one of the highest concentrations of microplastics in the world, most of which originate from sources thousands of kilometres away.

In addition, 20 tons of rubbish is produced daily on the island, so waste management issues, especially related to the growing tourism industry, are prevalent.

Global executive director at Plastic Oceans International Julie Andersen said: “The planet needs leaders to draw attention to the serious global plastic pollution problem worldwide threatening the ocean, our food sources and the environment, to understand the dangers of and change how we think about and use plastic.

“By showing the world that our most valued and remote locations are not immune to plastic pollution, our goal is to inspire people to find solutions and eliminate use of single-use plastics that contribute to the problem.”

Plastic Oceans and local residents will conduct a series of programmes to determine the factors contributing to plastic pollution on Easter Island.

To follow Ferguson’s world record-breaking swim campaign visit online at www.SwimAgainstPlastic.com