Swimmers Brave Freezing Water for 30-Mile Charity Relay

Night Train Swimmers Swim Cold

Photo: Peter Sorcher, Sorcher Films

This past June a group of motivated open-water swimmers known by their alias, Night Train Swimmers attempted a 30-mile relay swim from the San Francisco Bay’s Farallon Islands to the famous Golden Gate Bridge.

However, about four and a half hours into the swim, Matthew Davie started feeling the pain of swimming in the freezing-cold water. The swim was abandoned because Davie had hypothermia after 42 minutes of swimming in the then 49-degree water.

Founded in 2008, Night Train Swimmers are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation that raises money for
charity through ultra-distance swimming events. The group will re-attempt the 30-mile relay swim on
March 15, 2011.

The attempt is also serving as a fundraiser for Night Train Swimmers’ selected non-profit partners:
Wounded Warrior Project, Semper Fi Fund and Navy Seal Foundation– all of which support and
empower wounded veterans.

“We are thrilled to make another attempt at our goal of becoming the first group of swimmers to
complete this swim,” said Vito Bialla, Team Swim Farallon 2011 spokesperson. “We came so close to our
goal last June and just like our service men and women do for Americans each day we will not give up
until our goal is accomplished.”

The Farallon Islands were first discovered by the American Indians living in the Bay Area and were
later recorded by English explorer Sir Francis Drake, who landed on the islands in 1579. The islands are
officially part of the city and county of San Francisco and are one of 66 National Wildlife Refuges.

The islands lies west of the Golden Gate strait in the apex of a region known as the “red triangle” due to
the historically-high concentration of great white sharks.

With the average water temperature between the Farallon Islands and the Golden Gate Bridge around
50 degrees Fahrenheit, the swimmers must overcome the challenges of not only aquatic wildlife and
uncertain sea conditions, but also hypothermia, as the team knows all too well.

Night Train Swimmers Swim Cold

Photo: Peter Sorcher, Sorcher Films

The team consists of six swimmers from the San Francisco area: Vito Bialla, Mike Chase, Phil Cutti, Michelle Deasy, David Holscher and Joe Locke. Davie will be on the team again as skipper and observer but has been unable to gain enough weight during the winter in preparation for this swim.

On March 15th at 6:00 am, the team will depart from the South Farallon Island and swim continuously for 30 miles, until they pass underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. The team anticipates reaching the bridge at approximately 7:00 pm.

The swimmers successfully completed the longest lake swimming relay record of 108 nautical miles or
200 kilometers in Lake Powell, Arizona on September 24, 2010, swimming for a continuous 55 hours, 20
minutes and 25 seconds.

More information can be found at nighttrainswimmers.org, as well as live GPS tracking and updates on
March 15. Donations can be made through Night Train Swimmers by visiting the website.

Follow Night Train Swimmers on Twitter: twitter.com/NightTrainSwim
Like Nigh Train Swimmers on Facebook: click here

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