Island-to-Island swimmer stops short

Swimmer Doug McConnell's swim was tracked as he attempted to swim from Nantucket to Martha's Vineyard. The last three, more spaced out pings show the boat activity when he was picked up off Wasque due to dangerous currents. — Screenshot via Track.Rs

On Wednesday, August 28, Doug McConnell attempted to swim from Nantucket’s Eel Point to the Edgartown Lighthouse despite high winds, rain, and sharks.

According to fundraising website A Long Swim, McConnell swam alongside a safety crew of Martha’s Vineyard boat pilots, navigation experts, and his highly experienced water crew, which included two kayakers. 

The 18-mile swim is highly technical, including dangerous and unpredictable rip currents and prevailing tides that make swimming tasking. 

McConnell’s swim raised almost $64,000 so far for ALS research.

Although McConnell was expected to arrive at the Edgartown Lighthouse at around 6 pm, he had to be pulled from the water a half-mile off Wasque because of dangerous rip currents, according to Edgartown harbormaster Charlie Blair. 

Blair said he was letting air out of the tires of his vehicle so he could drive onto the sands of Norton Point to greet the swimmer.

During this time, Blair learned that the swim was cut short. 

Blair said his wife, also an endurance swimmer, was going to join in for the last leg of the journey, but didn’t on account of the premature termination. He said she was disappointed that she didn’t get to participate.