Librarian Avram Iancu starts swimming race from Danube’s springs to Black Sea

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Librarian Avram Iancu started on Tuesday at noon, in the Black Forest mountains, the travel he proposed to carry out by swimming 2,860 kilometers from the place where the Danube River originates to the place where the river empties into the Black Sea.

“It will be a difficult attempt, that will push the human limits to the extreme. (…) I don’t take into account a failure, but just the manner in which I would have to handle all obstacles,” Iancu wrote in his posts on his Facebook page.

According to his support team, Avram Iancu marked the race moment, on Tuesday morning in Donaueschingen after starting it at the confluence of the rivers Brigach and Breg, where the Danube originates.

“He is optimistic, healthy and determined to complete this project,” team member Aniko Vanea told AGERPRES.

Alongside Avram Iancu, there are kayak paddlers Valerica Rimbu of Galati and Ulise Galu of Brasov, two experienced athletes who floated with the kayak on the Danube over 2,500 kilometers.

Avram Iancu planned to cross the 2,860 kilometers of the Danube course by swimming 50 kilometers per day. He scheduled to arrive in the Sulina Port on 20 August. During this time, Iancu will cross ten countries and four European capitals.

The preparations for this event started in December 2016, a time-frame in which Iancu swam almost daily, ran up the mountain and went cycling.

According to him, the idea of swimming on the Danube river came up after reading “the Danube Pilot” novel wrote by Jules Vernes, in which the writer presents the story of Ilia Brus, a man who won the fishing competition of the Danube League and announced that he will cross the river by boat, from his springs to its emptying in the sea, living only from the fish caught during the journey.

“I have read again ‘the Danube Pilot’ novel, a fascinating travel, that I want to bring to life, hoping and wishing that the younger generation will find again the pleasure of reading in a classic manner. At the same time, youngsters could follow on their mobile phones my evolution, on the GPS. Therefore, we try to make a symbiosis between classic and modern, between book and internet, two things that complete each other,” Iancu explained, before leaving the country.

The evolution of the swimmer can be seen in real time at the following link: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0xj3eN6fpUVteXlMrqsu1K3rIT2RS4c4C.

Avram Iancu stated that only two persons have have managed to swim the Danube, from its springs to the Black Sea, so far. The first is the Slovenian Martin Strel, who, in 2000, swam for 58 days in the Danube, with the help of a neoprene suit and flippers. Six years later, Canadian Mimi Huges finished the same route, after 90 days, equipped with a neoprene suit but without flippers.

The librarian of Petrosani is known to have crossed the English Channel on 30 August 2016, without wearing a neoprene suit, at the end of a continuous effort of nearly 18 hours in which he traveled 62 kilometers through the cold waters separating France and the UK.