NORTH EAST, Pa. (Erie News Now) – Swimmer Kerry Hills still plans to make the 24-mile journey across Lake Erie, even though it will no longer be sanctioned by Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association (LEOWSA), he told Erie News Now on Wednesday.
Hills is still planning to swim July 17-23.
He has already received approval from Border Security and is working to do the same with the U.S. Coast Guard, Hills said. He also secured a boat captain.
The decision to make the individual attempt comes after LEOWSA said he did not meet its proper prescribed training and qualification distance/time swims. LEOWSA members said they decided the attempt “wouldn’t be prudent” in the name of safety for him and his crew.
Hills said he is a lifelong swimmer who swam through college and has trained 520+ miles in the last six months for this opportunity.
He is using the swim for a fundraiser for a children’s hospital in Tacoma, Washington. Additional information is available here.
Jeanne Debonis also plans to swim across the lake July 23-30 depending on the best weather and conditions available, according to LEOWSA.
Abigail Fairman, an ultra-marathon swimmer from Northumberland County, Pa., finished the swim from Long Point, Ontario, to Freeport Beach in North East, with an unofficial time of 15 hours, 27 minutes and 30 seconds on Sunday.