Arthur Germain Completes Seine Swim

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.