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Nejib Belhedi To Pioneer Swim From Sfax To Djerba Island

Courtesy of Nejib Belhedi, Djerba Island, Tunisia.

Nejib Belhedi is ready to do the longest, toughest, most challenging swim of his career.

I have swum for 24 hours straight without any stops in 25m swimming pool in Tataouine. I crossed the English Channel in extreme weather and tidal conditions. I swam 1400 km along the entire coast of Tunisia in all seasons over the course of a year.

I did icy swims in 1°C water in Barbara Lake and 2°5C water in Oued Mallegue Lake, both in Tunisia and a pulled a 1014 ton boat in the last of my Iron Swims. I am ready,” he explained.

Belhedi will attempt a 120 km (74.5-mile) crossing in Tunisia between Sfax and Djerba Island in Tunisia, scheduled to start on September 16th this year.

It may take me 3-4 days to swim 120 km from Sfax to Djerba – or from Djerba to Sfax – depending on the wind.

I initially considered swimming in a shark cage, but after thinking of the advantages and disadvantages, I decided to swim without a shark cage despite the number of sharks in the Mediterranean Sea because the cage could cause injuries during my swim and I will not use of a Shark Shield.

The white sharks exist in the Mediterranean Sea in this area but I realized that I’m not aimed by shark as a prey in his feeding chain. My mental orientation will protect me. In my steady-state effort, my heart beat and pulsations will be quiet and friendly – and will not alert the sharks.

I will wear a stinger suit at night – this is a lesson learned from my Sicilian Channel Swim in 1995 – as I swim near the escort boat Yassine captained by Nizar Najjar.

My support organization is composed of Captain Mohamed Kilani, President General Director of CAMAR Logistic as the Regional Event Organizer for Sfax, Dr. Adel Mezdari, President of Ajim Red Crescent as the Regional Event Organizer for Djerba, Slim Sahloul, Head of Engineers of the Highway Sfax-Gabes-Medenine as the Coastal Event Coordinator.

For more coordination and support redundancy, the fast ships of CAMAR Logistic which ensures the daily transport routes between Sfax and Djerba will serve support roles to communicate between the escort boat, Belhedi, and the Regional Event organizers in Sfax and Djerba, and the Coastal coordinator.

The sea in the Gulf of Gabes has strong tidal currents and large swells when it becomes windy, but the scope and amount of support that I am receiving is large and includes the Minister of Sport, the governorates and Commissaries of Sport of Sfax, Gabes and Mednine, the Tunisian Armed Forces, Afrikisol, Coast Guard and Civil Protection Units of Sfax, Gabes and Medenine, CAMAR Logistic, Radisson Blu Hotel Djerba, Holiday Beach Djerba, Sentido Phenicia Hotel, and Lalla Mariam Hotel.”

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