Lessons from Alcatraz
From OpenwaterpediaJoseph Oakes and Gary Emich. Oakes, a Fellow of the British Royal Geographical Society, has guided more than 30,000 swimmers from Alcatraz Island to the shores of San Francisco City. Emich holds the record for the greatest number of Alcatraz swims, 751 crossings without a wetsuit or fins. He has swum in the Amazon, Peru's Lake Titicaca, Scotland's Loch Ness, Fiji and the Rottnest Channel Swim as well as done English Channel, Catalina Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Manhattan Island Marathon Swim and Swim Around Key West relays.
They co-wrote the book for those who are encouraged "to enjoy the wonderful feeling of success that comes from completion of the great, difficult and classic swimming challenge" of swimming from Alcatraz Island to the shoreline of San Francisco.
"Alcatraz swims have been our obsession for many years," writes the co-authors. "Read on and devour what we have prepared for you." We read on and, in fact, very much enjoyed the insights and background to Alcatraz swims from the perspective of swimmers, escorts and race directors. We have seen too many unqualified swimmers trying unsuccessfully to swim from Alcatraz. In that time our Alcatraz Safety Crew has had to rescue well over 1,000 swimmers, many of whom should never have been out there foolishly endangering themselves and those around them. Bravado has its place, but not at Alcatraz."