Doing Good While Swimming With Sharks And Jellies

Doing Good While Swimming With Sharks And Jellies

The Night Train Swimmers relay team swam 181 miles (291 km) down the coast of California last year, sometimes encountering sharks as they swam 20 miles off shore.

We raised US$1.2 million for our Marine Veterans returning from conflicts around the world, which we donated to the Semper Fi Fund,” explains Vito Bialla, the catalyst for the relay swim.

This year, we are honored to be helping the Navy SEAL Foundation as the beneficiary of our 2013 swim. The Navy SEAL Foundation is a non-profit organization with one purpose: to provide immediate, ongoing and unwavering support and assistance to U.S. Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen, Naval Special Warfare support personnel, and their families. The Navy SEALs are very dear to us; we’re proud to have cultivated long-lasting relationships with these honoring their commitment and sacrifice to protect us is the most honorable thing we feel we can do.”

Bialla, an accomplished endurance athlete on land, on bikes, in boats, and in the water, is ambitious and relentless in going after his goals. “We’re looking to set a new world record for longest open water relay. On the morning of August 23rd, our team of six swimmers will begin a 228-mile (367 km) journey from Point Conception, north of Santa Barbara, to the San Diego Yacht Club. As we make toward land, we’ll be joined by two fellow Vietnam veterans, Mike Thornton and former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey – both decorated Navy SEALs and medal of honor recipients – to complete the last leg of the race with us, helping to celebrate as we land on the beach in San Diego.”

The team of Phil Cutti, David Holscher, Zach Jirkovsky, Luane Rowe, Blair Cannon, and Grace van der Byl plans to cover the 228 miles in 80 to 90 hours, swimming non-stop as they raise money for the Navy SEAL Foundation. “In addition to our swim, our journey will be complemented by Mike Trevino – an ultra-running legend and winner of Badwater, the world’s toughest foot race – who will simultaneously cover 300 miles on foot.

I hope you will join our cause – the California Coastal Swim – and cheer on our world record attempt by making a donation. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit”

Bialla is also inviting interested supporters to a donor appreciation and cocktail reception at the San Diego Yacht Club on September 7th (RSVP to Sara Brown at

Copyright © 2013 by Open Water Swimming
Steven Munatones