Watch: Harry Bryant’s Feary Sydney Harbour Bridge Swim - Stab Mag

Watch: Harry Bryant’s Feary Sydney Harbour Bridge Swim

One for the history books.

Words by Ethan Davis

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is Australia’s most famous landmark. 

In the heart of Sydney’s CBD, the iconic coathanger bridge looks out across Circular Quay ferry terminal towards the Opera House and middle harbour. Spanning more than 1,100 metres, the bridge connects the North Shore to the City and carries a variety of rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic. 

Since its construction began in 1924, the Harbour Bridge has been one of Australia’s staple tourist attractions and the site of numerous nationwide celebrations including the New Years Eve fireworks, Vivid, and the Sydney Olympic opening ceremony. Millions of tourists come each year to gaze, climb and cross the bridge, but as far as we know, no one in history has ever attempted to swim the bridge. 

That is until a hungover Harry Bryant did on Stab Highway almost 100 years after its construction first began. 

There are several reasons why you should not swim under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The first is that it is one of the busiest fairways for ships in the country. There are approximately 20,000 registered boats in Sydney Harbour, including Navy ships, cruises, ferries, yachts, dingies, jetskis, and moths. Getting blended into a bourguignon by a propeller is not an unlikely possibility. 

Big boats, big props.

The second reason, sharks. Great Whites, Tigers, Bulls. The scary ones. In 2009, NAVY diver Paul de Gelder was attacked by a bull shark that ripped off his leg and forearm while testing sonar detection devices. The island directly in front of the harbour bridge is named Shark Island. No points for guessing why. Haz also had a steak tied to his leg.

Paul de Gelder, knows there’s sharks in Sydney Harbour all too well.

The final reason is that it’s likely illegal. While the Royal Maritime Services say that swimming in the harbour itself is not technically a legal offence, obstructing fairway traffic is, which may have happened a couple of times during the journey. 

You ain’t getting these cowboy boots today, Sargeant Grime

All the reasons not to swim the Harbour Bridge only make it a more monumental feat that someone actually did. And who better than Harry Bryant, the epitome of the Aussie larrikin to take the honors.



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