Seven year old boy swims from Alcatraz to San Francisco

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Braxton Bilbrey, a 7-year-old boy from Glendale, California, swam from Alcatraz to Aquatic Park in San Francisco, California. The length of the swim is approximately 1.4 miles.

"It kind of seems like a long way, but I'm not totally worried. It's not that far," Bilbrey said before he started swimming.

"For a 7-year-old to be that motivated and stick with a goal that long is amazing," said Bilbrey's mother, Stacey Bilbrey.

Bilbrey, who has participated in several youth triathlons, trained for four days a week for 2 hours at a time. He decided to take the swim after reading about Johnny Wilson, a 9-year old fourth grader who also made it across, taking just less than two hours in October 2005.

"If you were to ask me if a 7-year-old is old enough to do it, I'd say maybe one out of 10 million, but he's that one," said Bilbrey's coach, Joe Zemaitis. Zemaitis made the swim along with Bilbrey. A United States Coast Guard boat and two additional swimmers followed to take action in case an emergency occurred.

Alcatraz was formerly a Federal prison noted for being "escape proof" while in use.

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