Around 200 swimmers headed to the Fiedler Dock on the Esplanade Tuesday to take part in the first of two sanctioned Charles River swimming events this summer.
It's the third year in a row that the Charles River Conservancy has invited people to take a dip in the river. Swimmers had to sign up to participate and each had 30 minutes to splash around. (If you missed Tuesday's event, another is set for July 25.)
While the water quality of the Charles has improved significantly since the EPA launched its cleanup effort in 1995, it's still not always safe for swimming. The latest annual Charles River report card found the river met quality standards for swimming 65 percent of the time.
Before the swim got started Tuesday, Renata von Tscharner, head of the conservancy, confirmed the water had been tested and was safe.
After 40 years of cleaning up the river, von Tscharner says swimming in the Charles is "a historic experience to enjoy what the river is for."
S.J. Port, the Charles River Conservancy's director of communications, says the group is pushing to establish a regular swimming area in the next two years.