Cornerstone Strength Swim Campaign - Detroit

“If one person can swim pulling a ton of bricks and keep their head above water, I believe we won’t sink from the weight of our burdens if we all pull together.”  ~  Jim Dreyer 

Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of

the apostles and the prophets.  And the cornerstone

is Christ Jesus himself.    ~  Ephesians 2:20

In a demonstration of "Cornerstone Strength," which reflects the Christian faith he shares with Habitat for Humanity, Jim "The Shark" Dreyer set out to pull a ton of bricks and swim 22 miles alone across Lake St. Clair to Detroit on August 5, 2013.  He arrived on the Belle Isle beach almost 52 hours later, pulling a half-ton of bricks after losing half his cargo in rough seas and getting lost in the night.  

While Jim was disappointed not to pull the full ton for the entire distance, it's safe to say no one else has ever swum 22 miles with a half-ton of bricks ... which is a mile further than the expanse of the English Channel.  Most importantly,  the lost bricks were later recovered to sell with the others as commemorative items for charity!

Following the City of Detroit filing for bankruptcy, The Shark partnered with Habitat for Humanity for the fundraising swim to symbolically "ReBuild Michigan" one brick at a time.  

While attempting to secure the dinghy of bricks that got away, Jim survived a harrowing experience of getting tangled in lines underwater while being crushed between the two 1,000-pound loads.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.    ~  Philippians 4:13

Cornerstone Sponsors

Special Thanks

 Clinton River Boat Club


 Minnich Boats & Motors


 Colony Motel


 Meteorologist Peter Chan


 Steve & Becky Deer

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​Jim "The Shark" Dreyer swam self-sufficiently without a support boat, towing two dinghies ... each filled with 1,000 pounds of bricks.  His TRAIN OF PAIN also carried all of his supplies and included lights and a radar target to avoid passing freighters and other boat traffic.  He used GPS and landmarks (when visible and coherent) to stay just west of the international border and find his way to Detroit.​​

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Aerial view as shown on

Good Morning America

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Limping into Detroit with one battered dinghy

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Jim ‘The Shark’ Dreyer: Man who swam 51 hours towing a ton of bricks reveals hallucinations, GPS errors and moments of near death all for charity

By Nina Golgowski - NEW YORK DAILY NEWS - Aug 14, 2013 at 9:27 am