The Everest Academy in Bangladesh will hold its first international marathon swim this week on March 17th: the 16.1K International Bangla Channel Marathon Swim across the Bangla Channel.

In addition to the swimmers who will do the one-way crossing, Lipton Sarkar and English Channel swimmer Milko van Gool (shown on left) from the Netherlands will attempt a double-crossing that is estimated to take them ten hours.

Ferar Tulio from Italy will also participate in the one-way race that will go from Teknaf, which has one of the longest beaches in the world (at 80 kilometers), to St Martin Island, the only coral island in Bangladesh, in the Bay of Bengal. It is also a charity swim whose proceeds will be donated to the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research in Bangladesh for teaching swimming to under-four children.

The Centre tries to prevent drowning in Bangladesh. In relation to its population, more children die from drowning in Bangladesh than in any other country. More than 17,000 children drown each year (or 47 per day).

Water is everywhere in Bangladesh, a land of massive rivers, deltas, rice paddies and ponds. And the risk of drowning may be increasing with climate change, extreme weather patterns, frequent flooding and rising sea levels. In response, UNICEF and its partners like the Centre for Injury Prevention and Research Bangladesh have been teaching Bangladeshi children to swim in order to save their own lives and the lives of others.

List of the world’s longest marathon swims is here.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source