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 Lake Michigan - The Silver Sequel

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2023, the "Year of The Shark," was a year of milestones for Jim Dreyer.  August 3, 2023 marked the 25th anniversary of his 1998 swim across Lake Michigan, the event that launched his career as a record-setting athlete.  Then on August 16, 2023, Jim turned 60 years of age.

To celebrate this significant anniversary and birthday, The Shark attempted to raise the bar with another epic swim across Lake Michigan in 2023, and continues that quest in 2024

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25 years later, 25 years older, and an estimated 25 miles further

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Now 26 years after becoming the only person to successfully swim the width of Lake Michigan solo between Michigan and Wisconsin, Jim "The Shark" Dreyer is attempting to make the second-ever mid-lake crossing.  This time it is an 82.9-mile point-to-point route from Milwaukee's McKinley Beach to Grand Haven City Beach in his Michigan hometown.  Due to currents, this swim may reach or exceed 90 miles.

If successful, Jim will eclipse the distance of his historic 1998 crossing between Two Rivers, Wisconsin and Ludington, Michigan ... a 50-mile route which resulted in him logging 65 miles due to strong currents.   

Jim Dreyer before a 42-mile training swim

on July 9, 2023.  

Jim made his first 2023 record attempt on August 1st.  The swim was aborted 9 hours into the quest as his escort boat was continuously being swept further off course in worsening lake conditions. 

To remedy this concern in his second attempt, Jim decided to swim self-sufficiently.  Instead of following a boat, he would tow a boat – an inflatable supply dinghy carrying 225 pounds of supplies.  About 27 miles into the swim, with conditions worsening, a rescue crew pulled Dreyer from the water after his supply dinghy was torn apart at the seams from facing over 25 hours of 8-foot waves.

What is a self-sufficient crossing of a Great Lake like?

Imagine standing on the beach and peering out at a seemingly endless expanse of water that lies well beyond the horizon.  You have a supply craft filled with supplies attached to your waist and the harsh reality of your undertaking begins to sink in.  You are about to embark on a continuous self-sufficient journey no one else has ever experienced.  You will swim alone while pulling the weight of your supplies and finding  your way across Lake Michigan. 

Welcome to the world of Jim "The Shark" Dreyer.  Yes, Jim will swim self-sufficiently again in 2024 (see press release).  Going it alone without an escort boat is not new for him and he hopes to draw from his past success. 


Among his many achievements,  Jim first swam self-sufficiently in 2003, when he swam the length of Lake Michigan in 18 continuous stages over 30 days.  Then in 2005, he most famously swam alone across Lake Superior.  Swimming unescorted across Lake St. Clair in 2013, while Pulling a ton of bricks, earned him his 2014 Stan Lee's Superhumans appearance on the History Channel

You may Track The Shark across Lake Michigan in near real time, starting the day of the swim!  As the event is dependent on weather,  Jim's Facebook Page will post updates on when the swim will start.

Lake Michigan – The Silver Sequel benefits the Grand Haven Chapter and Western Lake Michigan (Milwaukee) Chapter,  of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA), which supports Lake Michigan Guardians, their families, and communities on both shores.  Donations equally support both chapters and are greatly appreciated!

The swim is managed by Jim Dreyer's Event Marketing Enterprises, a company which happened to celebrate a significant anniversary of its' own in 2023 ... 30 years!

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"I have enjoyed working with the professional men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard throughout my 25-year career.  At my side, they have played a vital role in my success and together we have undertaken projects to improve swimmer safety. 

In conjunction with this milestone swim, I am honored to facilitate a way to give back to these life-saving guardians of Lake Michigan."

~  Jim Dreyer

​ “The Chief Petty Officers Association (CPOA) has consistently extended invaluable support to Coast Guard members in times of need, thanks to the unwavering backing from our community.  Jim’s remarkable feat of swimming across the lake serves as a testament to the strong partnership forged between the Coast Guard and the communities we are privileged to serve.  We are profoundly grateful for his support of the CPOA, and we eagerly anticipate our continued collaboration with him.” 

~  Doug Locklear

    President, Chief Petty Officers Association Grand Haven Chapter

In Memoriam

In 1998, I recognized the presence of my deceased father (Jack Dreyer Sr.) at the finish of my Lake Michigan crossing with a message in the sand.

In 2024, I remember those who were with me to witness the completion of my first journey across the Big Lake 26 years ago and have since passed.  I know you will still be with me in spirit.

  • Mom (Bernice Dreyer)

  • Dianne Dreyer-Bates

  • Jack Dreyer, Jr.

  • Marv Klunder

  • Al Dreyer

  • Walt Nessner

  • Jean Nessner

  • Jim Calvaruso

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