Rob Cooney - Lake Erie

Long Point, Ontario to North East Twp, Pennsylvania

38.3 km (23.8 miles)

13 hours, 32 minutes on 19 July 2018

Observed and documented by Eliot Spaeder

Co-ratified with Lake Erie Open Water Swimming Association (LEOWSA)



  • Name: Rob Cooney
  • Gender: male
  • Age on swim date: 38
  • Nationality: US
  • Resides: McKean, Pennsylvania

Support Personnel

  • Pilots: Mike Green, Josh Skarzenski
  • Kayakers & Navigators: Joey Jablonski, Scott Proctor, Drew Paris, Greg Cooney, Jim Smith, Darrell Martin
  • Nutrition: Dave Cooney
  • Observer: Eliot Spaeder

Escort Vessel: Two 25’ motor boats (Northeast Marina)

Swim Parameters

Category: Solo, nonstop, unassisted.

Rules: MSF Rules of Marathon Swimming, without exception or modification.

Route Definition

  • Body of Water: Lake Erie
  • Route Type: one-way
  • Start Location: Tip of Long Point, Ontario, near lighthouse (42.547779, -80.049072)
  • Finish Location: Freeport Beach, North East Twp, Pennsylvania (42.241647, -79.833181)
  • Minimum Route Distance: 38.3 km (23.8 miles)


List of Lake Erie swims (LongSwimsDB)

Swim Data

  • Start: 19 July 2018, 06:40, Eastern Daylight Time
  • Finish: 19 July 2018, 20:12
  • Elapsed: 13 hours, 32 minutes.

Summary of Conditions

Feature Min Max
Water Temp (F) 71 72
Air Temp (F) 70 85
Wind (mph) calm 10

GPS Track

Trackpoint frequency: 30 minutes. Download raw data (CSV).

Speed Plot


Water mixed with Hammer Perpetuem & Gatorade Endurance. Mixed in bananas, flat coke, & sugar cookies

Observer Log

Download PDF


by Elliot S. Spaeder

On July 19, 2018 at 6:40 am, Rob Cooney left Long Point, Ontario Canada, and swam across Lake Erie, arriving at 8:12 pm in North East, PA USA. The following bullet points discuss the highlights of his swim.

  • 3:30 am. Boat captains arrived at North East Marina.
  • 3:45 am. Swimmer and his crew arrived and loaded up onto the boats
  • 4:00 am. Boats started to make their way across Lake Erie. 2-3 foot waves were encountered at the beginning. Enough for the experienced boat captain to question if we should proceed. Decision was made to continue across the Lake.
  • 6:00 am. Arrived to Long Point, Ontario Canada. Water was now calm
  • 6:00 am – 6:30 am. Swimmer ate his breakfast and applied Destin and sunscreen to his body.
  • 6:30 am. Swimmer and 5 kayakers landed on the beach of Long Point. Spot GPS was started up and everyone got in their positions to start.
  • 6:40 am. Official start time for the swimmer.
  • 7:25 am. Swimmer stopped for his first break. This was break number 1 out of 16.
  • All breaks were 45 minutes apart
  • All breaks consisted of a normal feed of water mixed with Hammer Nutrition “Perpetuem” and “Gatorade Endurance”. Swimmer did ask for Banana’s, Coke, and Sugar Cookies on two different occasions
  • Breaks were as little as 2 minutes and all the way to 8 minutes. Total break stop time was 91 minutes
  • Due to changing winds and current, it is important to note that at each break, the swimmer and crew were forced to spend time getting back on course. This added to the swimmers overall time
  • USA was in sight at all times. Visibility was high. We lost sight of Canada after 5 miles.
  • With 10 miles remaining, the conditions changed to 1’ waves or less. Winds were changing as well.
  • With less than 8 miles remaining in the swim, the swimmers mother, wife, and three kids came out on Boat # 1 and cheered on the swimmer for an hour.
  • Very little cloud coverage throughout the day.
  • Due to changing winds and longer breaks, the last 5 miles were fought with getting back on course. Please notice the Spot GPS map.
  • With 1 mile remaining, Boats 1 & 2 took Dave Cooney, Joey Jablonski, and Scott Proctor to shore.
  • Greg Cooney, Drew Paris, Jim Smith, and Darrell Martin escorted the swimmer the last mile.
  • 8:12 pm. Rob Cooney arrived at Freeport Beach, North East, PA USA. Rob was met with over 200 family and friends.


Click to enlarge.



Conditions Data

NOAA Forecast


NDBC Station 45167

Water Temp

Air Temp

NDBC Station 45167