Swimming relay team tackles 48 miles of Lake Superior in a day

Six marathon swimmers came together to tackle 48 miles of Lake Superior from Split Rock to Canal Park within 24 hours.

They came to shore around 8 a.m. this morning.

It’s the longest observed and documented swim in lake Superiors without wetsuits.

The relay team’s roster included: Karen Zemlin (55), Plymouth, MN; Seth Baetzold (28), Maplewood, MN; Michael Miller (57), Minneapolis, MN; Jeff Everett (62), Oakland, CA; Craig Collins (64), Minneapolis, MN; William “Casey” McGrath (51), Minneapolis, MN with David Cameron (46), Minneapolis, MN as an alternate swimmer. The team has more than 75 years of combined experience with competitive, solo, and relay swims on rivers, large lakes, and in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

The group says this is both a celebration of the lake but also draws attention to its warming temps.

Superior is probably more stressed by climate than most other lakes on earth,” said Large Lakes Observatory Director Bob Sterner. “The summer surface temperature is changing really rapidly.” Data collected at the Observatory indicates that Superior’s surface waters have warmed, on average, four to five degrees Fahrenheit over the last 40 years.

They says this makes long distance swim events in the lake more feasible than they once were.

The swim was filmed as part of a documentary on the warming of Lake Superior, A Sea Change for Lake Superior.

It’s co-produced by Hamline’s University’s Center for Global Environmental Education and Duluth’s PBS Station.