Navy SEAL plans San Clemente to Catalina swim

Former Navy SEAL Dave Loeffler is in training to swim from San Clemente Island to Catalina Island. Photo courtesy of Jimmy Miller Foundation

Former Navy SEAL Dave Loeffler plans to swim from San Clemente Island to Catalina Island on Monday, September 17. The swim is believed to be the first attempt, ever, to swim the 21 miles between the two islands. San Clemente is the southernmost Channel Island and 70 miles offshore of San Diego. Loeffler is using the marathon swim to raise awareness of the healing properties of nature and to raise funds for The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation, which offers ocean therapy to veterans.

Loeffler enlisted in the Navy in 1985 and was assigned to SEAL Team 4, out of Little Creek, Virginia. The now disabled veteran spent fours in military zones throughout the world.

Loeffler will swim in just a swimsuit, cap and goggles The Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association, which will sanction the race, prohibits wetsuits.

“It’s pretty simple really. That’s what I love about marathon channel swimming. You just swim from one point to another, one island across the channel to the next island.

“I have always felt closest to nature and to God when immersed in the world’s open waters. With all the amazing and challenging aquatic experiences I’ve had, my mind still defaults to memories of those warm summer nights when my friends and I would build a bonfire on the beach and swim out into the calm, black waters of Lake Michigan ‘till we could hardly see the firelight,” Loeffler said.

The swim will begin about 10 p.m. at LCI Point on San Clemente Island and end at China Point on Catalina Island. Loeffler hopes to finish in 11 hours.

For more information and to donate, visit JimmyMiller Foundation.org

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