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Walter Poenisch

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Walter Poenisch is a dual inductee (Pioneer Swimmer of both the International Swimming Hall of Fame in the Class of 2017 and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in the Class of 2020
Fidel Castro celebrating the Swim for Peace by Walter Poenisch in 1978, together with 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 - 6 June 2000 at the age of 87) 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 208 km 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.

Honors[edit]

Open Water Swimming Career Highlights[edit]

Swim for Peace Rules[edit]

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

International Swimming Hall of Fall Induction[edit]

Videos[edit]

Boat Pulling[edit]

External links[edit]