For generations of professional marathon swimmers who competed in the Around the Island Marathon Swim, a tough 23.5-mile (37.8 km) swim around Absecon Island in Atlantic City, images of Hurricane Sandy wiping out the Atlantic City boardwalk brought back memories.

A difficult swim that challenged swimmers in the rough waters of the Atlantic Ocean, had them face tough tidal flows, and pressured them with heat and green heads in the back bay waters, the Atlantic City swims brought the world’s toughest and fastest swimmers to its shores from the 1950’s to the 1990’s. Sponsored by a variety of benefactors over the years, swimmers were as impressed with their escort crews as the local population was impressed with their swimming feats.

We were escorted by tough local lifeguards in the first version of carbon-neutral options,” explained Steven Munatones. “They didn’t use motorized watercraft. No diesel fumes, no motor oil with the Atlantic City crews. They just used their might and muscles to escort us around the island in old-fashioned row boats. And they felt honored to do so. We were felt just as honored by their efforts – they were tough, were never out of position, and never complained despite the rough water, heat and humidity.”

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