The dedication and enthusiasm of support crew and escort pilots on marathon swims and channel swims is well-established and recognized by all.

But what about those young men of the lifeguard corps from Atlantic City, Ocean City and Longport who volunteered to row for 8, 9, 10 and more in the Atlantic City Around the Island Swim that started in 1954 and continued on until the recent years?

Their strength, dedication and well-worn palms of their hands were unquestionable, especially on the ocean side of the 22.5-mile course when waves and swells and currents made their job extraordinarily difficult. These young men were the unsung heroes of that famous 22.5-mile (37 km) race about Absecon Island, New Jersey. With their efforts to row in all types of conditions, they were the human engines behind the initial carbon-neutral swims.

Photo shows Shelley Taylor-Smith swimming in the tough elements of the Atlantic City Around the Island Swim.

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