Courtesy of Josh Heynes, Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association.

Rob Cooney is a 38-year-old swimmer from McKean, Pennsylvania. On July 19th, he swam across Lake Erie as a charity swim for his father Dave Cooney who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.

The son was swimming to raise money for Parkinson’s Partners of Northwest Pennsylvania.

Observer Elliot Spaeder of the Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association reported, “Rob was escorted by Mike Green and Josh Skarzenski with escort kayakers Joey Jablonski, Scott Proctor, Drew Paris, Greg Cooney, Jim Smith, and Darrell Martin in his 13 hour 32 minute crossing of 23.9 miles from Tip of Long Point, Ontario, Canda to Northeast, Pennsylvania, USA.”

Before he left shore at 6:40 am, Lake Erie was turbulent with 2-3 foot waves. “It was enough for the experienced boat captain to question if we should proceed.”

But calm ultimately prevailed and his escort flotilla of 5 ocean kayaks and 2 motor boats finally took off. “The American coastline was visible at all times, but we lost sight of Canada after 5 miles. His total break time was 91 minutes with breaks varying from 2 to 8 minutes.”

Josh Heynes of the Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association also reported that 54-year-old Thomas Minnock of Mars, Pennsylvania also completed a crossing of Lake Erie, the earliest swim among history’s 21 successful swimmers.

Observer Darren Miller reported, “He was escorted by Captain James Armstrong on the Fishing Magician out of North East, Pennsylvania with escort kayakers McDarragh Minnock, Ronald Schmoll, and Scott McBride.

On July 1st, he swam 23.8 miles across Lake Erie from Long Point, Ontario, Canada to North East, Pennsylvania, USA in 16 hours 44 minutes. He started at 5:17 am to 10:01 pm, feeding every 30 minutes.”

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