North Saanich swimmer Renate Herberger is preparing for her fifth swim across the Saanich Inlet Aug. 5. (Facebook/Renate Herberger)

North Saanich ‘mermaid’ prepares for fifth inlet swim

Renate Herberger swims from Brentwood Bay to Deep Cove to raise awareness for marine conservation

Renate Herberger is no stranger to the chilly water of the Saanich Inlet.

The distance swimmer and co-director of the Saanich Inlet Protection Society (SIPS) has swum the 16.5-kilometre distance four times since 2011 to raise awareness for marine conservation and honour the memory of her late son, Silvan Skye Valeska Herberger, who died at 23 years old shortly after her first Inlet swim.

And now, heading into swim No. 5, Herberger says the need to raise awareness of rapidly deteriorating ocean environments is as pertinent as ever.

“It’s in part, raising awareness for people to know that whatever you bring, wherever you go, especially to a beach – make sure you take it with you,” Herberger said. “There isn’t a fairy godmother who comes after you.”

This year’s swim raises funds to support the SIPS beach-clean-up program, which has in the last year alone completed nine shore clean-ups around the Saanich Peninsula, “removing over 1,700 kilograms of plastics, metals, bottles, cans, boat parts, domestic refuse and garden waste.”

“It’s amazing to think that in 2019 we still have to raise awareness,” Herberger said. “Now of course, we know so much more about microplastics. More and more information is coming out. [The swim] is just to teach people to live more lightly, use less packaging. Bring your sandwiches in a jar and take it home.”

READ ALSO: Deep Cove Mermaid raises eco-issues swimming Mexico, backed by Mexican Navy

READ ALSO: Brentwood Bay cleanup takes major step forward

Herberger, who has swum over 8,200 kilometres in her lifetime, and has swam in the inlet since she moved to North Saanich in 1986, says she is still a “chicken when it comes to cold water.”

In fact, Herberger’s latest swims were in Mexico.

“I much prefer warm water swims, so this one is for me, the most difficult of all the swims I do,” she said. “I’m not good with cold water and I need a pretty serious wet suit. It’s much more demanding.”

Herberger will swim the length of the Inlet – starting at Brentwood Bay in Central Saanich and finishing at Deep Cove in North Saanich. She is still looking for support and escort boat volunteers. The swim requires escorts in kayaks, row boats and other non-motorized vessels for all or a portion of the route.

The swim departs Pacifica’s dock in the Portside Marina to the right of the ferry dock at the foot of Verdier Avenue on Aug. 5 at 9 a.m.

For more information about volunteering as a support or escort boat, email renatemermaid@gmail.com.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Victoria student out $600 for lack of e-bike insurance blames confusing rules

B.C. regulation says e-bike motors must turn off if rider stops pedalling, or bike must be insured

Health Canada suspends Island pot producer’s licence following unannounced visit

Evergreen Medicinal Supply is working on “corrective action”

Saanich police ask for public’s help locating missing high risk youth

The 12-year-old was last seen before school on Monday morning

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read