NMU swimmers swim across the Straits of Mackinac

Several members of the Northern Michigan University swim team held a unique training exercise over the 4th of July weekend.

Five swimmers swam across the Straits of Mackinac on Sunday. Sam Clemence, Megan Crowder, Tara Dowling, Pam Johnson and Dakota Sechena wore wetsuits to prevent exposure to the 60-degree water.

“It was just part of training,” Sechena said. “We train a lot in the summer, so it was just kind of nice to do an open-water swim. We’re used to doing a lot of pool training, so it was kind of something different to try out.”

The three swimmers that made the trip last year did it in just under two hours. This year’s swim took nearly three hours because of poor weather conditions, with high winds leading to rough currents.

“Yes, it was a lot of high winds,” Crowder said. “I did it last year; it was calm last year and it was very wavy this year. If you like to swim, you should do it; it’s a lot of fun.”

A rescue boat was waiting for them after completing the five-mile trip from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City.