BELLE ISLE, Mich. — Exhausted and relieved, West Michigan long distance swimmer Jim Dreyer made it ashore on Belle Isle some 21 hours after his scheduled arrival.
“I’m sorry I’m late,” were his first words onshore.
Friends and supporters from Habitat for Humanity Michigan were waiting for Dreyer on the beach.
“We were concerned a little bit that he’d be running out of supplies and food,” said friend Nate Zandee.
Dreyer had set out from the northeast shores of Lake St. Clair Monday at 8:36 a.m. He was alone with no support boat, and he was pulling two small boats filled with a half ton each of bricks. The intent was for Dreyer to pull the bricks across the lake, sign them, and sell them for Habitat for Humanity Michigan. Sometime Tuesday, he lost one of the boats.
After Dreyer’s scheduled arrival time came and went, it seemed that he had lost track of where he was. Detroit television station WXYZ sent a photographer, who found him in the water near the Grosse Pointe War Memorial. Dreyer indicated he thought he was in a channel, but the photographer assured him that he will still in Lake St. Clair. So Dreyer headed south again.
Anyone could track Dreyer online through pings from his GPS unit, but there were times when the unit appeared to be not working.
As the deadline came and went, Zandee went out on the lake to check on him and found he had enough supplies to complete the swim.