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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Sir Richard Branson and Adrian Grenier Swam Nearly 2 Miles across Italy’s Strait of Messina To Promote Ocean Health

Press Release – Los Angeles, Calif. (September 27, 2016) – Well-known environmental activists Adrian Grenier and Sir Richard Branson completed a unique swim challenge in conjunction with the Lonely Whale Foundation and Ocean Unite with the goal of spotlighting the critical importance of ocean health.

Yesterday at 11:00 a.m., Grenier and Branson began the 2.05-mile (3.3-km) open swim, launching from the southern tip of mainland Italy and finishing at Sicily’s Cato Peloro beach, accompanied by boats with lifeguards for every three swimmers.

Previously this year on World Oceans Day (June 8), Grenier and Branson joined to ask people everywhere to #MakeASplash by submitting a photo or video explaining “how much you appreciate the ocean and everything it provides,” which has earned 265M social media impressions and 9K posts from more than 120 organizations and individuals.

As an extension of #MakeASplash, and as a part of the annual Virgin Strive Challenge, the 66-year-old Branson challenged the 40-year-old Grenier to join him in an act of swimming stamina to show how individuals can take action to effect change on our shared planet. The challenge is a metaphor for how, when we work together, we can go further, faster, which is what is needed to improve ocean health more quickly than our current rate of change.

“It’s hard to swim in open ocean, but I accepted the challenge to overcome my personal limitations. And I knew I could do it, as I know that we, together, can overcome the challenges that face our civilization, and save the precious resources that is our ocean,” Adrian said.

The Lonely Whale Foundation launched in 2015 to develop empathy for marine life and inspire action that improves ocean health. Inspired by the documentary film about finding 52Hz (52: The Search for the Loneliest Whale), the Foundation provides K-5th grade education on marine animals and ecosystems and engagement initiatives like #MakeASplash. Through Adrian Grenier’s role as its social good advocate, Dell developed Cry Out: The Lonely Whale Virtual Reality Experience, a fully immersive underwater expedition that transports viewers into the depths of the sea to witness underwater life and the impact of pollution. Please visit

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