Got it. There are still swimmers or relays who swim in various bodies (e.g., Catalina Channel), but they are not looking for official sanctioning or even observers. Some of them are trying to raise money for local charities and they see the sanctioning fee as cutting into their donation levels. No one sanctions them or even insures them or even (officially) observes them. Those people will always exist.
I think we just need to be diligent that people want official sanctioning and recognition without paying for it or following the established rules where there are existing governing bodies. I think the governing bodies that are not directly tied to local authorities are more at risk. Where governing bodies are tied directly to local authorities (English Channel or Tsugaru Channel where we MUST inform the local Coast Guard authorities of every boat in the channel) are less likely to see these unsanctioned swims. I know in the Tsugaru Channel, you can be arrested if you swim in an unauthorized manner. I would guess the same is true in the English Channel. But I am pretty sure no one would arrest you if you swam unsanctioned by the CCSF or SBCSA or MBSA in their respective bodies of water.
But I wonder if it might be worth it for the CCSf or SBCSA or MBSA to require each swim to get clearance or at least a review by their respective agencies? This would really make the sanctioning “official” although it would add another layer of bureaucracy.
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