Peace Day SWim for Refugees


"My Irish ancestors fled to America during the great famine of the 1800s. They braved long journeys and lukewarm welcomes, yet still went on to make significant contributions to their adopted country. I believe everyone deserves that same chance."

--Christopher Swain

Event Date: Thursday, September 21, 2017

NYC Native to Swim from United Nations to Brooklyn Bridge Park on International Day of Peace

Human Rights Advocate Swims in Support of United Nations “Together” Campaign; Goal is Acceptance of and Non-Discrimination Toward Refugees


WHAT: In honor of the United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21, Human Rights Advocate and New York City native CHRISTOPHER SWAIN will swim two miles (3.4 km) down the East River—from United Nations Headquarters to Brooklyn Bridge Park—to raise awareness of the plight of the 65 million displaced persons who are part of the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

WHY: Swain’s swim reflects, in a small way, the arduous journeys over water that refugee families undertake every day in search of safety. Additionally, Swain’s effort highlights the vital mission of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which is dedicated to saving lives, protecting human rights, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people.

WHO: Christopher Swain is descended in part from refugees who fled Ireland for the United States during the Great Famine of the1800s. In 1995, Swain walked 210 miles across the state of Massachusetts while distributing 10,000 copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1996, he swam 200 miles down the Connecticut River in support of Universal Human Rights. He is the first person in history to swim the entire lengths of the Columbia, Hudson, Mohawk, Charles, and East Rivers, as well as Lake Champlain and Long Island Sound. Earlier this year, Swain swam from the Statue of Liberty to Manhattan Island in honor of World Refugee Day (on June 20).

PHOTO/VIDEO OPPORTUNITIES (limited Media Boat spots available): Christopher Swain swimming with the United Nations in the background; Swain swimming beneath the Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges; Swain on the dock in his dripping wetsuit.

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES AT POST-SWIM PRESS CONFERENCE: Christopher Swain, as well as representatives from the United Nations and faith communities.

WHEN: Thursday, September 21, 2017 (International Day of Peace). Loading of media boats at Brooklyn One Fifteen Marina (Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park) begins at 12:30 PM ET. Swain enters the water in front of the United Nations at 1:05 PM ET. Post-swim press conference at Brooklyn One Fifteen Marina (Pier 5 at Brooklyn Bridge Park) begins at 2:15 PM ET.

WHERE: Brooklyn One Fifteen Marina, Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, New York

CONTACT: Christopher Swain 617-233-4120 or To reserve a Media Boat spot, please contact Christopher in advance at 617-233-4120. Photos and video from the swim available upon request.