Man takes a swim around flooded Smale Riverfront Park

Posted at 3:28 AM, Feb 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 03:28:30-05

CINCINNATI -- The fact that much of Smale Riverfront Park slept beneath rising floodwaters Tuesday night didn't stop Northern Kentucky University senior Nick Montag from enjoying it -- although, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it definitely should have.

"I decided to go in the waters because of one life motto: 'Send it!'" Montag said Wednesday. "What was George Washington doing when he was crossing the Delaware? He was sending it. What was Was Abraham Lincoln doing when he was freeing the slaves? Sending it. When JFK said he was going to put a man on the moon. Sent it. Where would this great country be if no one was ever down to send it even in the face of adversity?"

It was in this bold and historic spirit of patriotism, Montag said, that he swam a lap around the submerged park in "super cold" water. A friend recorded him doing it; the subsequent 9-second video had accrued hundreds of likes, many questions about infectious diseases and a usage request from a Japanese news service by the time Thursday turned into Wednesday.

For the record, again, interacting with floodwater is a terrible idea by the standards of any health professional. It can carry contaminants, diseases and waste byproducts, and even a shallow body of water can cause drowning if the water is flowing fast enough. We're saying now, for legal and moral purposes, to our readers: Don't do it.

But Montag did it, and he wasn't worried, he said. Nor did he hesitate.

"I'm a fearless grizzly bear," he said.

Godspeed, pilgrim.

He's lucky grizzlies are good swimmers.