Apr 14, 2023 - News

Miami Beach mermaid attempts world-record swim

Photo: Courtesy of Merle Liivand

Miami Beach swimmer Merle Liivand will attempt a world-record-breaking swim this weekend, wearing a mermaid tail.

Why it matters: Liivand, who collects trash from waterways during her swims, is drawing attention to plastic pollution and climate change.

What's happening: Liivand will only use her legs and fin as she attempts to set a Guinness World Record with a 30-mile swim in Biscayne Bay on Saturday.

  • She plans to swim a loop from Sunset Harbor up to North Bay Village and back, from about 6am to 8pm.

What they're saying: Liivand told Axios she swims with just the fin to show how hard it is for dolphins who get stuck in fishing nets and plastic.

  • "These dolphins swim way more than 30 miles when they have to experience our flaws," she said, noting that marathon swimming at the Olympics is typically 10 kilometers, or 6.2 miles.

Background: Liivand, now 31, had breathing problems as a child and began swimming to strengthen her lungs.

  • She moved from her native Estonia to Miami Beach 10 years ago to be in warmer waters.
  • She already holds four Guinness World Records for swims with monofins. She set one for 26.22 miles in Miami Beach last year.

If you go: Click here for details about her route or to make a donation.

What else: On Sunday, she plans to swim an additional 10K in the Swim Miami race.


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