100th swim to Robben Island raises thousands for SPCA

Somerset West endurance athlete and swimmer Howard Warrington. PICTURE: ADRIAAN BUYS

Endurance Sport-obsessed Howard Warrington has become the 4th person in the world to swim from Robben Island to Blouberg one hundred times – and if that isn’t enough of an accomplishment, he pledged to raise R100,000 for animals.

Having witnessed first-hand the extent of the pollution far from our shores, Mr Warrington has made it his mission to act for animals whose habitats and lives are threatened by human action or inaction.

Early on the frosty morning of Tuesday May 21, Mr Warrington arrived at Oceana Power Boat Club in Granger Bay to embark on his ride to Robben Island, where he proceeded to climb into the water and start his 100th swim in aid of the Cape of Good Hope SPCA.

“Swimming one hundred 7,4-km crossings from Robben Island to Bloubergstrand in a period of seven years took me on a journey I could never imagine,” said Mr Warrington.

“My first swim was done with no idea what I was diving into, literally. As it all progressed, I came to realise this journey chose me more than I chose the journey. With the swims accumulating I also realised that, as in life, there is no space for complacency.

He highlighted how each swim presented a different sea in terms of temperature, wind, currents, and other factors.

“Nothing could be taken for granted. Only commitment and focus got me to the shore each time.”

Mr Warrington has successfully raised over R120 000 thus far for the Cape of Good Hope SPCA; what’s more people are still donating. The funding will according to the SPCA aid in covering at least 12% of the costs incurred by their wildlife department. A department whose annual operational costs amount to about R1 million.

Mr Warrington said: “To keep me going an invaluable team of people assisted me through this journey; my skippers Derrick Frazer and darling wife Elmarie Warrington, my weather watcher Frank Smuts, and crucial crew and dear friend Charl du Plessis.

“Without them, it would not have been possible. They do know what they were to me over these years. The biggest pleasure, of course, was to have our dog Lily Warrington on the boat, watching me through many crossings.”

Furthermore he applauded swimmers who joined him on the swim of the crossing and thanked all those who sent goodwill messages and wishes.

“In closing I want to ask every person that chooses a dog, a cat or any pet, please be the team to that precious animal that my team was to me. I would not have lived to see a hundred swims without my team. Your pet cannot live without you. Thank you Cape of Good Hope SPCA, the real heroes.”

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA thanked Mr Warrington for his outstanding efforts and to everyone who supported their Swim4Survival campaign which will help them in their mission to prevent cruelty and promote the welfare of animals.

With his 100th swim in icy waters from Cape Town to Robben Island Howard Warrington raised funds for the Cape of Good Hope SPCA. PICTURE: ADRIAAN BUYS