Arthur Germain Completes Seine Swim

Rivers Swimming
Photo: @germainharthur

After 49 days, Arthur Germain today completed his 784km swim down the entire Seine, from Burgandy to Le Havre. This morning, he excitedly wrote on social media, “Last day of the adventure!!” He invited friends and family to celebrate with him on the beach overlooking the English Channel.

For much of the swim, he averaged 15km a day. Then on July 10, he decided to up that to 19km a day.I’m in great physical and mental shape so I’m picking up the pace!” he said. The increased mileage allowed him to finish four days ahead of schedule.

The route. Photo:

Mostly, it all went as planned. But on day 32, Germain started suffering from tendonitis in one of his ankles, which impeded his swimming. Luckily, he had a strap, clay poultices, and arnica in his kayak. After a few days, his ankle had improved and he could again increase his pace.

Photo: @germainharthur

Since leaving the river’s source, he has pulled a kayak behind him loaded with gear and supplies. When necessary, he used a little cart to portage the kayak around obstacles. All went well until three days ago when Germain found a hole in the side of the inflatable kayak. After that, he had to re-inflate it almost every hour. But it held up till the end.

Photo: @germainharthur

Germain is the first person to complete the swim and only the second known person to attempt it. But his reason for taking on the challenge was to bring attention to water pollution in the river. During the swim, he took water quality readings every five kilometres. Before the swim, Germain, the son of Paris’s mayor, received vaccinations because of the poor water quality. He also had a doctor check his health several times along the way.


About the Author

Rebecca McPhee

Rebecca is a freelance writer and science teacher based in the UK.

She is a keen traveler and has been lucky enough to backpack her way around Africa, South America, and Asia. With a background in marine biology, she is interested in everything to do with the oceans and aims to dive and open-water swim in as many seas as possible.

Her areas of expertise include open water sports, marine wildlife and adventure travel.

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