The annual event took place in 20 countries across Europe today. In Belgium, 2,000 to 3,000 of people braved the grey, chilly weather and a northerly breeze on 19 different locations.
In Ghent, Mayor Mathias De Clercq and the Aldermen Filip Watteeuw and Tine Heyse did it. Ghent also staged a Big Swim, which ended at the Portus Ganda in the northern part of the central city. "Cold or not, we will just do it. For clean water, for more fish, and more pleasure", actress Veerle Malschaert told the crowd in her introduction (see video below).
In Antwerp, the Kattendijkdok was the place to be. Radio presenter Roos Van Acker took part, as did the outgoing Flemish Environment Minister Koen Van den Heuvel. "I take part because water quality is and should remain a priority", he said.
The event aims to put the focus on water quality. This is still not meeting European standards in many rivers in Belgium and other European countries. Video below shows the Ghent event.