Atlantic City Around the Island Swim

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Shelley Taylor-Smith in the Atlantic City Around the Island Swim
Around the Island Swim in Atlantic City
The Around the Island Swim (Around the Island Marathon Swim or the Around the Island (Absecon) Marathon Swim) in Atlantic City, New Jersey (U.S.A.) was a 22.5-mile (36.2 km) professional marathon swimming competition that attracted most of the world's fastest marathon swimmers from the 1950's to the 21st century.

Atlantic City Around-the-Island Marathon Swim started in 1954 and was considered one of the most difficult marathon swims on the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation pro circuit. The first race in 1954 was won by Tom Park. Swimmers were escorted by lifeguard boats rowed by local lifeguards.


It was a circumnavigation around Absecon Island on the Jersey Shore that demanded swimmers tackle the Atlantic Ocean, inlets with tidal flows, and back bay environments in the clockwise direction. The ocean temperatures varied from the 12-13ºC on a cold day to 25-28ºF in the back bay on a warm day. Ocean currents and tides are unpredictable and came from any direction.

Each swimmer was escorted by two certified South Jersey Beach Patrol Lifeguards as rowers in a surfboat.


Two local lifeguards, Ed Solitare and Ed “Dutch” Stetser, first accomplished the feat by completing a circumnavigation around Absecon Island. The Atlantic City Around the Island Swim was masterminded by Jim Toomey.

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