Swimmers bring awareness to shrinking Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is shrinking and a group of activists have decided to bring attention to this environmental calamity – by swimming across the salty body of water.

A group of swimmers swam across the Dead Sea from Jordan to Israel in an effort to draw attention to the sea’s diminishing dimensions and the potential environmental deterioration it could entail.

The 25 participants swam across the salty lake for seven hours, in an event the organizers say is the first of its kind.

The swimmers, who hail from Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and as far as New Zealand, South Africa and Denmark, wore special face masks to protect them from the extremely briny and mineral-laden water, which is painful to the eyes and can be deadly to ingest.

The group was accompanied by support vessels with medical equipment and food.

Environmentalists blame water mismanagement for the Dead Sea’s shrinkage over the last few decades.

The Dead Sea, which has been monitored since the 1930s, has been rapidly shrinking because of diversion of incoming water from the Jordan River to the north. As the water level decreases, the characteristics of the Sea and surrounding region may substantially change.

By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report