Swimmer Stories

Meet the Swimmers

Participants in the Buzzards Bay Swim are men and women, young and old, avid and casual swimmers alike. Together, they help save Buzzards Bay by swimming for clean water and supporting the Buzzards Bay Coalition's work. Read what swimmers have to say about the Buzzards Bay Swim, and then join them by registering today!

Sara Jacobsen

Mattapoisett, Mass.

Sara Jacobsen

“[Buzzards Bay] was the wallpaper of my childhood. I want to make sure I contributed and put effort into my passions. It’s important to show up for the things you care about, not just say you care about them.”

Read Sara's story

The Harris Family

Marion, Mass.

Alan, Ruth, and Jessica Harris

“We look forward to the Swim every year for its physical challenge, but also the excitement of being part of the crowd swimming. There are people of so many ages participating and having fun.”


Melissa Johnson

Charlotte, N.C.

Melissa Johnson

“I'm a triathlon coach, and I learned about the race from one of my athletes. He spoke so highly of this race and how well it was organized that I decided to sign up to swim, too! Here’s to blue skies and warm water!”


Common Man Athletics

Wrentham, Mass.

Common Man Athletics

“Overall, Orr said the Swim is well run and something he looks forward to every year. ‘The coordinators of the event and the local emergency personnel do an incredible job. All the kudos go to them.’”

Read Common Man Athletics' story

The Robertson Family

Dartmouth, Mass.

Bryan and Laura Robertson

“Bryan and Laura Robertson were only looking for a fun family get-together when they first participated in the Buzzards Bay Swim. Now the father-daughter duo has turned the Swim into a family tradition.”

Read Bryan and Laura's story

Emma Whittaker

Rochester, Mass.

Emma Whittaker

“When the opportunity came up for Emma to swim, she didn't hesitate. 'I wanted to challenge myself. Also, I love Silvershell Beach, and that's on Buzzards Bay, so I wanted to help keep it clean.'”

Read Emma's story

Steve Johnson

Westport, Mass.

Steve Johnson

"I love salt water swimming, and the clean waters around Buzzards Bay make that possible for me in the summer. The Swim is a fun way to help raise funds for the Coalition, the guardian of the Bay.”


The Ashley Sisters

Rochester, Mass.

Ashley sisters

“The [Swim] mission is so personal and so cool — you are swimming through the water you are trying to protect. It’s a real accomplishment to get to the other side and look back and say ‘I swam the Bay!’”

Read Rebekah and Rachel's story

Dan Vasconcellos

New Bedford, Mass.

Dan Vasconcellos

“Twenty years ago, you might have been able to see your hand in front of you. Now, the conditions in the harbor are unbelievable. I like to think it’s due to the efforts of the Coalition.”


Erica Miller

Dartmouth, Mass.

Erica Miller

“Miller first heard of the Swim at a 2003 Earth Day event. The Bouchard 120 released an estimated 98,000 gallons of oil into the bay a few days later. Clean water was a cause that Miller couldn’t ignore.”

Read Erica's story

Leslie & Stephanie Trott

Cedar Grove, N.J.

Leslie and Stephanie Trott

"Our family has sailed and fished these waters since the whaling era, but we're the first to swim them. We hope that for generations to come, all will be able to enjoy the Bay.”


Bob Milne

Arlington, Mass.

Bob Milne

"I am swimming to honor the late Richard Jackson of Marion. He was a graduate of Massachusetts Maritime, served in the Navy and sailed on Buzzards Bay his whole life. He lived for the ocean.”

Read Bob's story

Halle Berger

Acushnet, Mass.

Halle Berger with dad Jonathan

“The Swim has become an integral part of my summer; I am determined to participate every year that I can. It combines two of my favorite things: swimming and protecting the ocean that I love.”


Gerry Payette

Bristol, R.I.

Gerry Payette with cousin Gisele Pappas

"The Swim is a great cause, and it's always a challenge for me. All of the support from so many people is inspiring and great to see. My cousin swam with me for the first time [in 2015] and wants to do it again.”


Nancy Smith

Dartmouth, Mass.

Nancy Smith with Mark Rasmussen

“Smith said she wasn't confident the first time around, but her fears were quickly washed away after that first plunge in 1999. ‘Once I begun, I haven't stopped. I plan to keep swimming as long as I possibly can.’”

Read Nancy's story

Marco Brunette

Concord, Mass.

Marco Brunette with mom Maria at the Buzzards Bay Swim

“Just go out there and do it! It’s a hugely rewarding swim, and it’s also a lot of fun — you can hang out at the beach with your friends and eat pancakes. It’s worth getting up early for.”

Read Marco's story

Greg Glavin

Marion, Mass.

Glavin family

“I enjoy the race; it’s a fun event. My daughter tries to make it, my dad, my brother, his family. I boat in Buzzards Bay, I surf in Buzzards Bay, I enjoy Buzzards Bay, so [the Swim] is a nice way of giving back.”

Read Greg's story

Tom & Linda Hannon

Onset, Mass.

Tom and Linda Hannon

“Until two and a half years ago, Tom Hannon had never swam before. [In 2016], he splashed his way through a 1.2 mile course in the 23rd annual Buzzards Bay Swim alongside his wife, Linda.”

Read Tom and Linda's story

Rosie Byrnes

New Bedford, Mass.

Rosie Byrnes swimming at the Buzzards Bay Swim

“When you just let go, swimming in the ocean is the most natural, freeing thing in the world. Those open waters allow us to glimpse the immense powers on this earth, and we are enveloped in that power.”

Read Rosie's story

Thank you to our 2021 Swim sponsors!