Robben Island swimmer Kim Prytz, 49, breaks never-before tried record

Kim Prytz busy with her swim to Robben Island.

Kim Prytz busy with her swim to Robben Island.

Published Jan 13, 2024


Almost one year after first attempting a never-before tried Robben Island return crossing, Kim Prytz, 49, has become the first person in the world to swim Lagoon Beach-Robben Island-Big Bay, a total distance of 19.8 kilometres.

She did so in 14 hours 31 minutes and three seconds. That she did it swimming breast stroke, is yet another record.

The record-breaking swim, which Prytrz termed her “Reconciliation Swim”, was done in aid of the Goedgecht Trust and their work for the rural child.

It kicked off deep into the night of the January 3, at 11.51pm from 100m past the Milnerton Lighthouse.

The water temperature was 12.8° and for Prytz, who swims without a wetsuit, began the first challenge of calming her mind and focusing on the task in the “profound darkness and silence”.

“The most onerous part of the swim was from 2km to the final – there was an interminable period where I couldn’t believe I was moving. The final push, just like giving birth, was excruciating due to the currents and having just swam for more than 14 hours.”

This latest adventure, was her fourth attempt and is a testament to her dedication and determination to succeed in not only her personal challenge, but to make good on her promise to raise awareness and funds for Goedgedacht’s “Path Onto Prosperity” centres.

Valerie Govender, marketing manager at Goedgedacht Trust, said they were delighted that Prytrz chose Goedgedacht as her charity of choice.

“Our Path Onto Prosperity centres are not just beacons of hope in the rural communities of the Swartland, but catalysts for a brighter future too. We are so very grateful for friends like Kim who support our work and allow us to make a difference where it matters most.”

As to why Prytz termed this her “Reconciliation Swim”, she said: “I was immersed in the ocean and experienced what flow felt like as I followed the light beam of my boat crew.

“I just let my thoughts go – a lesson we can all take away with us; to let attachments to people, thoughts and things completely drop off in the flow.

“There was greater surrender in my spirit for this swim than I can ever remember.

“My gratitude to everyone who helped me with this journey – the failed attempts and this grand adventure – whilst my ultimate surrender of self was necessary, I am ever mindful that it does indeed take a community to make success happen. Thank you all.”

Prytrz’s Reconciliation Swim was supported by Big Bay Events, which monitored the swim and recorded it.

She comes from the southern suburbs, and is a music teacher (singing and piano), as well as an avid karate practitioner and karate instructor. She also incorporates the daily practice of Qi Gong and Tai Chi into her training, all of which has assisted her to complete several other record-breaking swims.

This included being the first person to swim across the Sound of Iona in Scotland and back in May – water temperature of 10°C.

To help support Kim and Goedgedacht Olive Peace Garden’s Path Onto Prosperity, please donate to: Olive Peace Grove via this link: or directly to: Olive Peace Grove, Standard Bank Mowbray Branch, Account: 075170485. Please reference: “Kim’s Swim”.