SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 15 May) – Endurance swimmer and environmental lawyer Ingemar “Pinoy Aquaman” Macarine did another first in New York state, as the first Filipino to swim in Hudson River’s icy waters.
He swam nonstop Sunday night (Philippine time) from Newburgh-Beacon Bridge up to 8.4 kilometers downstream in 1 hour and 49 minutes. It was the longest distance he swam so far in the United States.
Macarine’s first long swim in the US was in 2014, when he swam 2.85 kms from the Alcatraz Island Penitentiary to San Francisco. In 2015, he swam 8.1 kms in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.
Macarine said in a chat over Facebook that the cold Hudson River’s temperature of 57 degrees Fahrenheit (about 14 Celsius) combined with the 7 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius) air temperature “came as a shock as I have been used to the tropical waters of my beloved Philippines.”
The Pinoy Aquaman aimed to swim at least 10 kilometers in the Hudson River but fell short.
He said he suffered some cuts on his neck and armpits as he is not used to wearing a wetsuit. He was forced to wear a wetsuit because of the cold water.
“This swim is a wake up call that I need to do more cold water swims as I prepare for my ultimate open water swim this coming August,” said the Surigao-born marathon swimmer.
He said that the Hudson River swim, his 29th open-water swim, was part of his training to cross the English Channel, a stretch of 33 kms from the United Kingdom to France.
Macarine originally planned to cross the channel August last year but was forced to cancel it due to bad weather.
The triathlete Macarine, 40, a marine conservation advocate, embarked on his long distance swims to raise awareness on marine environment, climate change and tourism. (Roel Catoto / MindaNews)