Intrepid long-distance swimmer Neil Agius has started his attempt to swim from the Italian island of Linosa to Malta, a distance of 130 kilometres.

He plunged into the sea on Monday afternoon after a countdown by friends, some of whom will accompany him on boats to offer support and encouragement. 

But before setting off, he had a surprise when his girlfriend proposed to him. He said yes!.

The swim is aimed at raised awareness about plastics pollution of the seas as part of the Wave of Change campaign.

Agius has originally planned to swim from Tunisia to Sicily but plans were changed two days ago. 

He is expected to arrive on Wednesday after up to 55 hours in the water.  

Agius and the Wave of Change team are attempting to set a world record for the longest continuous, unassisted, current-neutral swim along a single-segment natural route in an ocean, sea, or bay, which is currently set at 124.4km. 

On Thursday Agius had warned that bad weather in Tunisia would not allow the ideal conditions for the swim to take place, and while it was a “tough pill to swallow”, the navigation team had been looking into alternate routes for the swim to take place regardless. 

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.