Watersports and Science – Chemnitz native Josef Hess wants to swim the entire Rhine in just 25 days

Joseph Hess, a resident of Chemnitz, wants to set a new record and swim from upstream to the mouth of the Rhine in just 25 days. (Sebastian Kahnert/dpa)

According to the plans, Hesse, next Saturday, June 11, will enter the waters from the source of the Rhine in Switzerland. On July 6, he should then reach the mouth of the river near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He wants to swim eight to ten hours a day. The current is a big danger, says the 34-year-old, and there is also rapid charging and water pollution. In 2017, he swam in the German part of the Elbe River.

The industrial engineering doctor isn’t the first to want to swim across the Rhine, but no one has been able to do so in just 25 days at a time. Klaus Bechstein, who first swam the entire river in 1969, is considered a pioneer. It took him 30 days. Another swimming marathon is underway: chemist Andreas Vath of the University of Furtwangen in the Black Forest has crawled more than 2,000 kilometers down the Danube to Romania. On June 17 he wants to reach the Black Sea coast.

Hess and Fatah also put their actions in the service of science. They collect water samples whose purpose is to provide information about the state of rivers.

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