There’s hardly a better way to exemplify gratitude: When Marc Guitart’s six-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer, there was little hope left. But the Spanish doctors who treated her performed a small medical miracle and were able to save her life. In gratitude for the extraordinary help he received at the Hospital Sant Joan de Déu in Barcelona, he wanted to give something back with a very special action and initiated an unusual donation marathon: Together with his friend Alberto Lorente, Marc Guitart planned to swim the distance from Palma de Mallorca to Barcelona to collect donations for the hospital.
Alternately, both want to complete the distance of a good 300 kilometers in the water. The start took place on September 13, the goal in Barcelona should be reached on September 19, if the weather conditions play along.
SeaHelp Mallorca supports the charitable action
Because personnel support was guaranteed but an appropriate escort boat was still missing, Marc Guitart turned to the Mallorca base of SeaHelp. But because the SeaHelp response boats in the Balearic area tend to help skippers in distress and their presence there is urgently needed, the SeaHelp base manager had a good idea.
Support boat organized
True to the motto, relationships only hurt those who don’t have them, he finally organized a suitable escort boat in his large network for the already almost audacious undertaking. Marc Guitart: “Without the quick, uncomplicated help of SeaHelp to organize us a suitable escort boat, we would have had to cancel the donation marathon on the last meters before the start.”
Also Rafael Nadal supported
So the project with its notable supporters, which include tennis star Rafael Nadal, could then still start as planned – the two swimmers are already taking turns in the water. When asked what they particularly respect, Marc Guitart gave a rather unusual answer: “Not the sharks, as many might think, but the jellyfish, which can cause considerable injuries. And, of course, from the escort boat losing sight of the swimmer at night.”
Safety is paramount
However, similar to SeaHelp, safety is the main focus: equipped with a GPS transmitter and waterproof LEDs, the two swimmers are currently taking turns fighting their way through the sea, which is already quite rough at this time of year, at five-hour intervals to slowly but surely reach their destination in Barcelona. The escort boat also has extensive safety equipment: starting with a satellite telephone, so that help can be summoned in an emergency even in a “dead zone,” medical reserves and a defibrillator.
5 to 7 hours in the water
Also on board is a physiotherapist who is concerned about the muscular well-being of the two marathon swimmers, because during the individual swimming sessions, which last between five and seven hours, one or the other muscle can already report.
Is the weather playing along?
But anyone who talks to the two quickly realizes that giving up is hardly an option for them, unless there is danger to life and limb. But that could come sooner than they think, because a powerful storm is expected to cross their path between the Balearic Islands and Barcelona in the next few days. The SeaHelp editorial team and of course the entire SeaHelp team wish them luck and success on their unusual journey.