Check out our new site at

J. Marvin Mims

From Openwaterpedia
J. Marvin Mims authenticated the Cuba-to-Florida solo swim by Walter Poenisch, a dual inductee (Honour Swimmer of both the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. Photo by Fay Poenisch

J. Marvin Mims is the President of the International Federation of Professional Ocean Swimmers and Divers who was the observer and authenticator of the Cuba-to-Florida swim of Walter Poenisch in 1978. He was assisted in this ocean swim by Glenn Drummond, escort boat owner, Fayette Poenisch, and Captain Bendt Lynge.

Walter Poenisch

Walter Poenisch (1913 - 2000) was a former American open water swimmer who completed swim in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida and 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 took 128.8 miles in 34 hours 15 minutes.

International Federation of Ocean Swimmers and Divers

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

  • Fins are allowed
  • Snorkel is allowed
  • Shark cage is allowed
  • Getting out of the water four times for no longer than five minutes at a time to administer emergency medicine, receive critical nourishment, or for any reason that directly threatened the life of the swimmer

External links