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Charity swim event needs volunteer boat skippers

The St. Vincent’s Medical Center Foundation, a Connecticut-based charitable organization that hosts an annual swim across Long Island Sound, is looking for boaters to volunteer their time and vessels to help ensure that swimmers have safe passage from Port Jefferson, N.Y., to Bridgeport, Conn.

“The success of the Swim Marathon depends on the generosity of local boat owners to escort swimmers as they cross the Sound,” the group said in a statement. Power and sailboats, 22 feet and larger, are needed as escorts for solo, two-person and relay teams, as well as to serve as guide boats and safety backup.

“We are lagging behind the rate of captain registration from last year, when our goal, and achievement, was the same – 120 captains,” said Mike Herrington, a member of the sponsoring group’s Swim Committee. “Some of this may be weather related in that folks are late in getting their boats in the water.”

With what’s shaping up to be a record number of swimmers (more than 200) registering for the 27th annual Swim Across the Sound Marathon on Saturday, Aug. 2, organizers said they only had 68 committed captains as of May 29. Their target for reaching the 120 goal is July 15.

This year’s swim is expected to raise about $400,000, which will provide cancer screening and preventive education not covered by insurance, as well as funding for other specific needs, such as financial assistance (for example, payment of rent and utilities), the purchase of wigs, prostheses, medication assistance, free transportation to treatment and appointments, day-care scholarships and support groups.

Boaters interested in volunteering can register by clicking here.

Registered volunteers are welcome to a free slip, beginning at noon on Aug. 1 at Danford’s Marina in Port Jefferson, N.Y., and are invited to attend a Swim Foundation-sponsored party at the marina that evening.

On Aug. 2 at 7 a.m., boats will need to be in place at Danford’s Marina for the kickoff of the marathon, where volunteers will be served a continental breakfast. The 15.5-mile race begins in Port Jefferson and will end at Captain’s Cove Seaport in Black Rock Harbor in Bridgeport, where there will be an award ceremony and banquet. Overnight slips will be available at Captain’s Cove Seaport on Saturday night.

Click here for information or contact Deborah Cox at the St. Vincent’s Swim Foundation office or (203) 382-2302; or Mike Herrington at or (203) 255-0815.