DOVER, United Kingdom (MindaNews / 13 August) — Environmental lawyer and endurance swimmer Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine was pulled out of the waters early Sunday after almost an hour of swim due to safety reason.
Macarine was determined to complete the 21-mile (33.8 kilometers) the English Channel swim which started from Samphire Hoe Beach in Dover at 2:45 am (British time; 9:45 a.m.in the Philippines), enduring the water temperature average of 17 degree Celsius but after swimming for 50 minutes, he was stopped by boat pilot Eric Hartley of Pathfinder Charter.
“It’s hard to control the boat with the current condition. The wind speed is too strong than what was forecasted at 3 knots. It’s important to keep him near the boat. It’s always safety first. With this condition, it’s so easy to lose the swimmer with the swells and anything,” Hartley told reporters who were on the boat covering this epic swim.
Born in Placer, Surigao del Norte, Macarine had swum a total distance of 3.8 kilometers when he was forced to stop by the boat pilot. Macarine initially thought he would get his first feeding — a 400 ml energy drink — but was surprised to find out he had to stop.
“I couldn’t believe I was stopped. I’ve gone through worse during my previous crossings in the Philippines,” he said, adding he cannot do anything about it since the swim is sanctioned by Channel Swimming Association (CSA).
In August last year, Macarine, was forced to cancel his first attempt to cross the channel due to bad weather.
Keith Oiller, an official observer of CSA told Macarine on Sunday that he can swim on better days.
“Swim window for Ingemar probably on Friday but again it depends on sea condition,” Oiller said.
The 21-mile English Channel is considered the “Mount Everest” for open water swimmers from all around the world.
Mount Everest has already been scaled by seven Filipinos but no Filipino has successfully crossed the English Channel.
“After swimming for almost an hour, my pilot Eric decided to stop the swim for safety reason. Wind speed was 21 knots, way different than 3 knots as it was forecasted. I’m hoping to be able to swim again this Friday if weather condition will permit,” Macarine said, adding he may have to extend his office leave and departure date.
Macarine is OIC Comelec officer in Tubigon town in Bohol.
“Tuloy ang laban. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas,” he said. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)