Howard completes historic swim

Published: August 16, 2009 7:00 AM

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Ali Howard was all smiles yesterday as she received a well deserved hand from the crowd as she finished her 610 kilometre, awareness-raising swim of the Skeena River.

It had taken her 28 days to swim from the Sacred Headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. Howard and her safety team tackled the swim to raise awareness of the Skeena River and highlight threats to its health, like coalbed methane drilling and pipeline development.

Howard spent four to eight hour per day on the river, at all times wearing floatation device, drysuit and helmet.

Howard and her team stopped at communities along the way, at one point joined by Skeena NDP MP Nathan Cullen. Many residents on the swim route came out to support Howard on her journey.

It was no different in Prince Rupert; hundreds of onlookers and well-wishers made their way out to the North Pacific Cannery near Port Edward, and Tsimshian dancers welcomed Howard with the steady beat of their drumming.

There was also a feast and dance at the Nisga’a Hall featuring Rachel Van Zanten and Los Gringos Salvajes.