Yesterday, NYC Swim held its annual Brooklyn Bridge swim, a 1K across the East River. About 400 people participated, which apparently was less than in previous years. It seems that some may have been thinking about the warnings about raw sewage which was dumped into waterways after a four-alarm fire that devastated a wastewater treatment plant.
One swimmer told the Daily News, "I had two moments when I felt something that wasn't water, but I don't want to know what it was. It could've been a plastic bag, it could be ...seaweed, but you don't ask. You just swim." Another explained his secret to keeping healthy after swimming in the river: "I do a shot of tequila to clean out my system."
The swim race's founder says the water is clean and the race was won by Katherine O’Connor, who crossed the river in 13 minutes and 30 seconds. For what it's worth, the East River has always had an infamous reputation, whether as a place where the mob would dump bodies or as being polluted. In an episode of Seinfeld, Kramer takes to swimming in the East River. Jerry was concerned, "You're swimming in the East River? The most heavily trafficked overly contaminated waterway on the eastern seaboard?" but Kramer pointed out, "Technically Norfolk has more gross tonnage," and noted that he had company, "I saw a couple of other guys out there... Floating, they weren't moving much. But they were out there."