Walter Poenisch

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Walter Poenisch. Photo by Fay Poenisch
Walter Poenisch swimming along the Florida Keys on one of his three world record ocean swims in a shark cage
Fayette Poenisch and Walter Poenisch
Walter Poenisch (1913 - 2000) was a former American open water swimmer who completed open water swims in Michigan, Ohio, Florida, and in the Atlantic Ocean where he set three world records. He was called the World's Strongest Endurance Swimmer as he towed a 30-ton paddlewheel boat while swimming with his hands and feet shackled. He also completed a swim from Cuba to The Little Duck Key in Florida at the age of 68 on 11 July 1978. His solo swim covered 128.8 miles in 34 hours 15 minutes. He was escorted by Captain Bendt Lynge, observer and authenticator J. Marvin Mims, President of the International Federation of Professional Ocean Swimmers and Divers, Glenn Drummond, escort boat owner, and his wife Fayette Poenisch.

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Long Distance Swimming World Records

International Federation of Ocean Swimmers and Divers

Poenisch followed the rules of the International Federation of Ocean Swimmers and Divers on his swim across the Straits of Florida:

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