NEWPORT — This Wednesday, seven ultra-marathon open water swimmers will gather to swim the 25-mile length of Lake Memphremagog, between Newport, Vermont and Magog, Quebec.
They will be departing from the EastSide Restaurant and Prouty Beach in Newport at 5:00 a.m. and expected to cross the border into Canada between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m.
In Search of Memphre is an amateur swim, started on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 intended to promote a more open border with our Canadian neighbors.
Joining this July’s Search are Vera Rivard, 14, of Springfield, NH and Derby, VT, Eric Schall, 57, of Kingston, PA, Mary Stella Stabinsky, 41, of Plains, PA, Sharessa Gutierrez, 37, of Omaha, NE, Sandra Frimerman-Bergquist, 34, of Excelsior, MN, Dan Shub, 69, of Baltimore, MD, and Cara Manlandro, 38, of Derwood, MD.
They are joined by 26 others in support of the swim, serving as escort and patrol boat pilots, crew, and ground personnel.
Border crossing has been facilitated by Canadian law enforcement which has reviewed the roster of participants and pre-approved the crossing.
Organizers say US officials have been extremely helpful in facilitating crossings.
If successful, Vera Rivard would be the youngest to swim the length of the lake and Dan Shub would be the oldest to do so.
In 2018, at least 60 swimmers will be undertaking swims of various distances, from 10km to 25 miles, that involve crossing the border.
This year’s class of “Swimmer Scouts” have dedicated their swims to the Asylum Seekers and are encouraging donations to the Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project at https://asylumadvocacy.org/
Several of the swimmers, their support, and their families come from backgrounds of seeking asylum in the United States from horrific and dangerous conditions in their nations of origin.