Three search and rescue specialists of the Mexican Navy. (Courtesy of Renate Herberger)

Deep Cove Mermaid raises eco-issues swimming Mexico, backed by Mexican Navy

Renate Herberger plans to swim Mexico region by region

The Deep Cove mermaid resurfaces after her latest swims in Mexico, supported by the Mexican Navy.

Renate Herberger, also known as the Costa Rican mermaid due to her environmentalism in that country, has just returned from a stint in Mexico.

ALSO READ: 1858 Naval maps combined with satellite data helps researchers map kelp bed health

Since 2008, the North Saanich resident has covered 8,242 kilometers in the water to promote green issues and has secured an unlikely ally – The Search and Rescue arm of the Mexican military.

Herberger says that after getting an approving nod from a Mexican admiral she now is supported by a patrol boat and crew for three or four days at a time as she completes her swims. She has to follow the military’s schedule, so her days last from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

She has swum in a number of places, such as Cozumel, Isla Cerralvo (Jaques Cousteau island), Baja California, Isla de Mujeres, Cancun and Puerto Morelos.

ALSO READ: And they’re off! Peninsula track and field season starts

Asked if she was worried about sharks, Herberger laughed. “Sharks are the least of my worries. Jellyfish are dangerous. In the past I’ve had numerous interactions with Portuguese man o’ wars and oh my God it’s painful, it makes childbirth look like a children’s game.”

The other risks were currents and riptides, with Herberger saying two divers drowned a few days after she left the last area on her tour.

Herberger says she does the swims to raise awareness of green issues, with local newspapers, radio and television covering her story whenever she swims.

While in her host country, Herberger rides the wave of local publicity and visits local schools, where she talks to the children about the environment and encourages them to make eco-promises.

ALSO READ: Sidney catches a wave with Stand Up Paddleboard Nationals

“The mermaid persona has worked really really well as the magic and mystery of the mermaid encourages them to talk about the environment.”

The Deep Cove mermaid intends to swim parts of Mexico region by region between November 2019 and March 2020, starting with a 14-day swim.

One ambition Herberger hasn’t yet achieved is speaking at a local school. She says she has spoken to thousands of students in Costa Rica and hopes to one day be invited to talk to students in a Saanich Peninsula school.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Renate Herberger, after swimming a few hours, about to climb aboard the support boat. (Courtesy of Renate Herberger)

Just Posted

Sooke fitness facilities reopen to the public

Extra measures set in place to ensure user safety

VIDEO: Neighbours help Sidney woman mark 103rd birthday with surprise parade

Barbara Chorlton celebrates her ‘best birthday so far’

Racism is here too, say Victoria’s black community leaders

White Victorians have role to play in combatting systems of oppression, prejudice

Shortage of foreign workers costs Saanich Peninsula berry farmer thousands

Gobind Farms says hiring local has been difficult during pandemic

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read