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60-year-old Jim 'The Shark' Dreyer attempting to swim across Lake Michigan—again

 A younger Jim Dreyer standing at the edge of the water at either sunrise or sunset. The sun is right on the horizon.
Jim Dreyer

The only man to ever swim across the width of Lake Michigan is attempting the feat again—this time, at 60 years of age.

It was a quarter of a century ago when then 35-year-old Jim Dreyer, nicknamed “The Shark” Dreyer, became the first human to swim across the big lake, a 65-mile journey from Two Rivers, Wisconsin to Ludington, Michigan.

The Shark is now 60, but Dreyer says that is not going to keep him from doing it again.

“Let’s put an exclamation point on my career, so to speak, and let’s show that age is just a number,” Dreyer said. “So, that is the plan.”

This time around, Dreyer says he will swim from Milwaukee to Grand Haven, and just in time for the city’s annual Coast Guard Festival in early August. Fitting, Dreyer says, as his swim will be raising money for the Chief Petty Officers Association, an independent group that offers a variety of services to enlisted members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

“I have enjoyed working with the professional men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard throughout my 25-year career,” Dreyer said. “At my side, they have played a vital role in my success and together we have undertaken projects to improve swimmer safety."

The swim comes 25 years after his first successful attempt in 1998 and is also 25 miles further, totaling around 90 miles. He expects the crossing to take more than 60 hours.

To put the feat in context, the equivalent of running a marathon is swimming 6.2 miles. Meaning, swimming 90 miles across Lake Michigan is equivalent to running 14 and a half marathons.

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