Joe is one of the world’s most prolific open water swimmers and enjoys swimming around the world with his brother, John. He has swum over 110 documented marathon swims including 5 of the Oceans 7 Channels, the Triple Crown, Triple Crown of Stage Swims, and the Ultimate Swim A Thon which included a 10K in all 50 states in 25 days.
Zemaitis founded the Foundation for Aquatic Safety and Training (FAST) that was inspired by Braxton Bilbrey, a 7-year-old boy, who became the youngest person to swim from Alcatraz Island to the San Francisco shoreline. Motivated by Braxton’s story, over 50 swimmers ages 8 to 18 made that same 1.4 mile stretch of frigid open-water swim the following year. These competitive swimmers became the first FAST ambassadors of water safety, reaching out to the next generation of young people with the message of water safety and drowning prevention.
Role in Swimming Community
WOWSA Award Nominee
Special Honors Marathon/Channel Swimming
Swim Around Manhattan
Awards & Accomplishments
He will lead Team USA at the IISA 5th World Championship in Samoëns, France between 11-15 January 2023.
He achieved the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming on 22 August 2017.
He was the first person in history to complete the Triple Crown of Stage Swims.
He has swum six Oceans Seven channels.
He is the brother of fellow marathon swimmer John Zemaitis.
He founded the Foundation for Aquatic Safety and Training and the swim club Swim Neptune in the state of Arizona.
He is chairman of the IISA USA (or International Ice Swimming Association USA), the governing body of ice swimming within the USA that functions under the auspices of the International Ice Swimming Association.
He completed the 25-day, 50 marathon swim Ultimate Swim-A-Thon charity swim with his brother John Zemaitis in July - August 2022.
On 13 October 2022, he completed the 33 km DC Marathon Swim in Washington, D.C. in a tandem swim with John Zemaitis in 9 hours 24 minutes 31 seconds.