Home / Top Story / Environmentalist swims length of NYC’s putrid Newtown Creek

Environmentalist swims length of NYC’s putrid Newtown Creek

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Wednesday, December 23, 2015, 3:35 PM

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Clean water advocate Christopher Swain swam the entire length of the Newtown Creek between Queens and Brooklyn. As the picture shows, his left eye became inflamed after the disgusting swim.

A jaw droppingly dedicated environmental activist swam the entire length of the fetid Newtown Creek Wednesday — paddling through feces, condoms and who-knows-what-else to draw attention to the polluted waterway.

Christopher Swain, 47, completed the stomach-churning 3.5-mile swim two months after he took on the bacteria-infested swill of the Gowanus Canal.

“I got water in my mouth twice. It was probably the most disgusting swim I’ve ever done,” Christopher Swain said after emerging from the waterway straddling Brooklyn and Queens.

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“Now I know why people say I need counseling. This is insane.”

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiCorey Sipkin/New York Daily News

The nasty 3.5-mile swim comes just a few months after Swain swam the Gowanus Canal, in an effort to bring attention to the polluted water problem.

Fittingly, Swain dressed for the occasion as if he were plunging into a pool of toxic waste.

Swain coated his body with petroleum jelly and donned a full-body yellow protective suit, goggles, ear plugs and a swim cap.

Still, his swim across through the crap-filled creek — considered one of the nation’s most polluted waterways — was far from pleasant.

“My goggles leaked a little bit on this dive, so my eye is burning a little bit,” Swain, a married father of two, said afterward.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiCorey Sipkin/New York Daily News

Swain wore ample protection during the swim, but some of the water got into his goggles, causing his eye to hurt. “I want to live in a world where every waterway is swimmable every day,” Swain said.

Nicole Butterfield, a high school teacher from Westchester County, kayaked next to Swain along his journey, monitoring his heart rate and helping him avoid motor crafts like the NYPD tugboat assigned to ensure his safety.

Wednesday’s swim marked the second leg in Swain’s quest to “energize cleanups” of the city’s foulest waterways.

Swain is planning to take on Newtown Creek’s tributary water ways in January.

“I want to live in a world where every waterway is swimmable every day,” Swain said.

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